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Jewish Money and Economic Influence

"The extraordinary story of Jewish-American success
contains lessons for us all."
-- Steven Silbiger, 2000, p. 1

"The Torah lights, the Torah shines, but only money warms."

Old Yiddish folk saying, [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. 238]        

"Maybe we don't know your [Christian] history. But you still
have a lot to learn about ours."

-- Jewish "banker who had been born into a left-wing family"
at a Christian-Jewish group discussion
[COWAN, P., 1987, p. 185]

"During my dialogues with [famous Jewish Nazi-hunter Simon] Wiesenthal,
I wondered what the Hebrew interpreter Luis de Torres, who was the first
member of the expedition to set foot in the New World, might have said to the
'Indians' whenthe Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria landed in the Bahamas on 12
October 1492: 'Did he address them in Hebrew?' 'That I don't know,' Simon
said, adding deadpan, 'But I can tellyou what the Indians said back to the white
man: 'Now begins the tsuris [Yiddish for "tro
-- Alan Levy, 1993, p. 22

In the early 1900s, Werner Sombart, a German professor of economics, became intrigued with a new book by the German sociologist Max Weber entitled: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  In it Weber speculated about the Protestant faith and its ideals of rationality, frugality, hard work, efficiency, goal orientation, and other such attitudes in the creation of capitalism. Sombart -- and many others since him -- was attracted to the controversial notion that a religious world view had in some way shaped (and perhaps initiated) the western economic system. But Sombart thought that Weber's focus on Protestantism was not the right place to look for the roots of capitalism. After all, Christianity had evolved out of a much older religious tradition: Judaism. So Sombart wrote his own book, eventually even more controversial than Weber's, entitled The Jews and Modern Capitalism; it was based on the argument that a preceding Jewish value system informed the Protestant one.  As Sombart saw it, "Puritanism is Judaism." [NEWMAN, A., 1998, p. 165] "There is almost certainly a strong element of truth in Sombart's contentions," notes W. D. Rubinstein, "which may well account for the unique success enjoyed by the Jews in the English-speaking world in modern times, and the rarity of antisemitic tendencies." [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 21]

When the book first came out, in 1911, Sombart's "fundamental assertions were not challenged," in fact he spoke to many audiences "recruited mainly from the Jewish intelligentsia." [MENDES-FLOHR, WERNER, p. 93] Both of these scholars -- Sombart and Weber -- have been pioneers in the scholarly debate about Jews and their role in economic history, each noting some of most enduring and self-preserving traits of Jewry over the centuries wherever they lived:
   *  They were foreigners with no formal citizenship everywhere in their
   *  They were scattered throughout the world, never concentrated
        in a single area.
   *  Their physical and social separateness from non-Jews was voluntary
        and part of their religious world view.
   *  They were not peasants and were not linked to the land in their diaspora;
        wherever they were found, they were an urban class.
   *  They lived a double standard of morality: one for themselves and
        another for non-Jews, which functioned to position them as
        intermediaries between other peoples, and ultimately protected
        their group solidarity and identity.
   * They had strong injunctions to marry only within the Jewish community.
       [TRAVERSO, p. 44]  
    * They also accumulated "liquid wealth," per merchantry and
        money lending enterprises.
Among Weber's and Sombart's other arguments was the idea that mainstream Judaism has largely been rationalist and legalistic in scope, eschewing magic and the realm of the supernatural, "this life" oriented and not towards the hereafter, and that the natural world is viewed by traditional Judaism only in the way by which it can be profitably exploited for the benefit of the Jewish people. As Harry Kemmelman notes in one of his popular novels featuring lead character "Rabbi Small": "The virtuous Muslim, when he dies, goes to Paradise; the Buddhist assumes he will be reincarnated at a higher level; the Christian goes to heaven. When the virtuous Jew dies, he just dies." [KEMMELMAN, H., 1981, p. 171]
Talcott Parsons notes that Jewish emphasis upon "rationality ... was mainly legalistic in character." [PARSONS, p. 106] This rationality, argues Sombart, was integral to capitalism. And all these aforementioned factors contribute to a decidedly materialist world view. As R. Joseph Hoffman observes:
     "The Old Testament has a great deal to say about wealth as a sign
     of divine favor and source of human happiness. It is arguable that
     no single aspect of ancient Israelite religion stands in such obvious
     contrast to ancient Greek speculation concerning the immaterial nature
     of the good as the insistence of the Hebrew writers that the things
     of this world, being 'God's possession and man's ward,' are a
     source of delight, contentment, and blessing. The theme is recurrent...
     [The story of Genesis] is the mythological embodiment of a
     fundamentally this-worldly, economic theology."
     [HOFFMAN, R. J., 1989,p. 172]
"So closely has Jewish economic activity been intertwined with the history of capitalism," concurs prominent Jewish scholar Howard Sachar, "that many historians have forgotten that the Jews were its putty as well as its molders. Jews helped shaped the destiny of capitalism, but capitalism also shaped the destiny of the Jews." [SACHAR, p. 39]  "According to this distinguished economic historian [Sombart]," says Paul Mendes-Flohr, "Jewish values and ingrained sensibilities -- arid intellectualism, a calculating intelligence, insatiable desire, a double ethic -- display a particular affinity to the ethical code and attitudes required by ...  the major economic developments and instruments of capitalism." [MENDES-FLOHR, p. 134]
Sombart was terribly off the mark with some of his speculations, especially a chapter devoted to innately racial "characteristics" of Jews (although, ironically, some Jewish scholars like Norman Cantor and Raphael Patai accept this kind of commentary today, so long as it is flattering to them), and Jews have had nearly a century to pick Sombart's ideas apart. But not all of them can be easily discarded. In particular, his essential queries still stand, re-examined and reconsidered by scholars in our own day. Why have Jews had such enormous economic influence wherever they were -- and are -- in history, and whenever capitalism developed, why were Jews always significantly located as beneficiaries? To what degree have they been responsible for, or at least instrumental in, the development of capitalism? What is it about Jews and money? "One need not accept Sombart's exaggerations," wrote Salo Balon, "to see that the Jew had an extraordinarily large share of the development of early capitalism and received corresponding benefit." [LIBERLES, p. 44]
Sombart argued that, while Christian opinion in the medieval era disdained the pursuit of monetary gain and preoccupation with self-enrichment, Jewish religious principles actively encouraged a materially accumulative path. "Sombart notes will ill-concealed distaste," says Werner Mosse, "that the most learned Talmudists [rabbis and other Jewish religious scholars] were also the most skilled financiers, doctors, jewelers, and merchants." [MOSSE, p. 5] A year before the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492, for instance, Abraham Seneor, the Chief Rabbi of Castillian Jewry, was also a "tax farmer" (tax collector), [BARON, Econ Hist, p. 47] a position purchased from the Spanish aristocracy that was rendered in the public mind as a particularly despised form of exploitive entrepreneurism. Such colossal economic Jewish religious figures can be found yet today. By 1995, for example, Joseph Gutnik, an ultra-Orthodox Hassidic rabbi, had an economic empire worth $1.5 billion and was recognized as one of the richest men in Australia. His company, Centaur, notes the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, "had two main assets in western Australia -- a nickel mine and a gold mine ... Gutnik apparently has a fondness for diamonds. At one time he was even nicknamed Diamond Joe." [HANDWERKER, H., 5-15-01]
Sombart proposed "on one hand, [that] Christianity was the religion of poverty, and condemnation of material wealth was part of its creed. On the other hand, Judaism was the rational basis for wealth, the home of the modern economic spirit -- free enterprise." [KREFETZ, p. 44] "Orthodox Jews have never despised business," notes the Jewish scholar Irving Kristol, "Christians have. The art of commerce, the existence of a commercial society, has always been a problem for Christians. Commerce has never been much of a problem for Jews ... Getting rich has never been regarded as being in any way sinful, degrading, or morally dubious within the Jewish religion." [KRISTOL, p. 317] "For the Jews, poverty was no virtue, wealth no evil. The Talmudic monetary laws, the dinei memonot, formed what was regarded by many as the most rewarding of Talmudic inquiry and crativity ... It's not the afterlife that's important but life itself for rich and poor alike." [GETTLER, L., 2000, p. 27]

According to the New Testament," notes Jewish business author Steven Silbiger,

      "the Christian world has, at best, an ambivalent attitude toward money and wealth
       ... For Jews, on the other hand, wealth is a good thing, a worthy and respectable
       goal to strive toward. What's more, once you earn it, it is tragic to lose it. Judaism
       has never considered poverty a virtue. The first Jews were not poor, and that was
       good. The Jewish founding fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were blessed with
       cattle and land in abundance. Asceticism and self-denial are not Jewish ideals."
       [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 1415]

Silbiger compares the very different Christian and Jewish religious traditions about money. For the Christian:

     "Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone who
      is rich to enter the Kingdom of God." -- Matthew 19:24; Luke 18:25; Mark 10:25

      "You cannot serve God and wealth."
      -- Luke 16:13

     "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."
      -- Timothy 6:10

For the Jew:

     "Where there is no flour, there is no Bible."
     --- The Mishna

     "Poverty causes transgression."
     --- Hasidic folk saying

      "Poverty in a man's house is worse than fifty plagues."
     --- The Talmud

"The account of Yahweh's [God's] covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15), " notes R. Joseph Hoffman,
      "is ... told in terms of this-worldly reward and material blessing
      (Gen. 22:17) ...  [In Judaism there is a] doctrine of conspicuous reward
      for obedience [to God] ... [Apostle] Luke in particular presents the
      poverty ethic as a central Christian requirement ... Paradigmatically, to be
      a 'true' follower [of Jesus by his Apostles] is to be poor." [HOFFMAN,
      R. J., 1989, p. 173, 183, 185]
As Sombart put it:
       "It is well known that the religion of the Christian stood in the way of
        economic activities. It is equally well known that the Jews were never
        faced with this hindrance. The more pious a Jew was and the more
        acquainted with his religious literature, the more he was spurred by
        the teachings of that literature to extend his economic activities."
        [SOMBART, p. 222]
Sombart even out-Freuds Freudian theory by suggesting that Jewish religious dictates encouraged sexual sublimation which, in turn, improved energies in money matters. ("We see that a good deal of capitalistic capacity which the Jews possessed was due in large measure to sexual restraint put upon them by their religious teachers.") [SOMBART, p. 237]
Exploring Jewish moral tenets towards non-Jews, particularly in the economic sphere, Sombart highlights excerpts from Jewish religious teachings like these:
         "If a non-Jew makes an error in a statement of accounts, the Jew may
          use it to his own advantage; it is not incumbent upon him to point
          it out."
         "It is permissible to take advantage of a non-Jew, for it is written,
          thou shalt not take advantage of thy brother [i.e., other Jews]."
          [SOMBART, p. 245]
As modern Jewish defenders point out, there are indeed other Jewish religious citations that can be produced that infer different attitudes towards non-Jews. But as Sombart underscores, for the Jews who seek religious assurances that a Jew can cheat and deceive Gentiles with moral impunity, there are clearly many citations to be found in the Jewish religious record that support, and even encourage, such an attitude. Such attitudes were unquestionably used by Jews in history, often as a mainstay. Hence, as part of Gentile folklore throughout the world, Jews are consistently and universally depicted as misers, penny-pinchers, and cheats who are completely obsessed with making money, views that are bitterly decried by Jews today as being totally unfounded, completely unwarranted, and anti-Semitic: in all cases, "stereotypes." 
Wherever Jews lived in their diaspora, there were similar perspectives about them in the traditions of surrounding peoples:
         *  "A real Jew will never pause to eat till he has cheated you. (Serbian)
         *   "The Jew cheats even when praying." (Czech)
         *   "A real Jew will get gold out of straw." (Spanish)
         *   "So many Jews, so many thieves."  (German)
         *   "A bankrupt Jew searches his own accounts." (Greek)
         *   "Bargain like a Jew but pay like a Christian." (Polish)
         *   "A Jewish miser will reject nothing more than having to part with his
              foreskin." (Russian)
         *   "A Jewish oath, a clear night, and women's tears are not worth a
               mite. (Venetian)
         *   "A Jew, if he cheats a Moslem, is happy that day." (Moroccan)
         *   "Mammon [money] is the God of the Jews." (Hungarian)
              [ROBACK, p. 186-204]
Jewish scholar Leonard Dinnerstein notes the similar folk beliefs about Jews in the African-American community:
     "There are several humorous tales about a 'Colored Man, a Jew and a
     White Man' in which the Jew is distinguished from other caucasians.
     The main thrust of almost all of these jokes is the compulsive Jewish
     concern for wealth." [DINNERSTEIN, L., 1998, p. 117 (of double
Like virtually all Jewish observers these days, however, Dinnerstein regards such folk tradition to be based on no facts whatsoever. As he decides, despite the fact that such folk traditions are part of every folk history wherever there have been Jews in any number,
      "[Blacks] have imbibed the European-American folklore about the
      cunning and exploitive Jew whose ruthlessly amassed fortune is
      used to political and economic control of society. There is more
      mythology than substance in these beliefs, but that does not lessen
      their impact. These stereotypes have existed among Blacks since
      their socialization into American culture." [DINNERSTEIN, L., 1998,
      p. 873 (pages are doubly paginated)]
What Dinnerstein neglects to mention, of course, as do virtually all Jewish polemicists on this subject, is that these "stereotypes" have also been very much part of even Jewish folk lore, hence Jewish self-identity. What did the Jewish community think, and celebrate, about itself in its own traditions?
         *    "A Jew at a fair is like a fish in water." (Yiddish) 
         *    "The Jew loves commerce." (Yiddish)
         *    "A Jew and a wolf are never idle." (Yiddish)
         *    "The Jew likes to poke his nose everywhere." (Yiddish)
         *    "Better in the hands of a Gentile than the mouth of a Jew."
         *    "When the Pole thinks, he seizes his moustache, when the Russian
               thinks, he takes hold of his forelocks, and when the Jew thinks, he
               holds his hands behind."   (Yiddish) 
               [ROBACK, p. 186-204]
As Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg note about Yiddish folklore: "This folk humor provides a means of indirect social aggression and at other times, it releases a mordant self-criticism." [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. xx] The following are more examples of traditional Jewish self-identity from a collection of Yiddish folk sayings, [KUMOVE, S., 1985] further confirming certain troubling aspects of collective Jewish identity:
         *    "One need never suspect a Jew -- he surely is a thief." [p. 139]
         *    "It's good to do business with a thief."  [p. 233]
         *    "If you steal -- you'll have." [p. 233]
         *    "What is smaller than a mouse may be carried from a house."
                [p. 233]
         *    "Petty thieves are hanged, major thieves are pardoned." [p. 233]        
         *    "A thief gives handsome presents." [p. 230]
         *    "Before a thief goes stealing, he also prays to God." [p. 231]
         *    "Better with a hometown thief than a strange rabbi." [p. 231]
         *    "Thieve and rob if you must but be honorable."  [p. 232]
         *    "God protect us from Gentile hands and Jewish tongues." [p. 196]
         *    "Live among Jews, do business among the Goyim." [p. 143]
         *    "If you steal enough eggs, you can also become rich." [p. 249]
         *    "A fool gives and a clever person takes." [p. 106]
         *    "Always take -- if you give me, I'll go away, if not, I'll stay."
                [p. 106]
         *    "Always take!" [p. 106]
         *    "The goy is treyf [forbidden] but his money is kosher
                [acceptable]." [p. 126]
         *     "Offer a Jew a ride and he throws you out of your own wagon."
                [p. 45]
         *    "A sense of justice we want others to have." [p. 127]
         *    "Money rules the world." [p. 179]
         *    "Money is the best soap -- it removes the greatest stain. (p. 179)
         *    "Gold shines out of the mud." [p. 179]
         *    "Gold has a dirty origin but is nevertheless treated with honor.
                [p. 180]
         *    "The world stands on three things: on money, on money, and
               on money." [p. 180] [All from KUMOVE, 1985]

Jewish psychoanalyst Theodore Reik, in Jewish Wit (his volume about the subliminal psychological meanings of Jewish humor) notes:

     "All kinds of deception and cunning, of fraud and trickery, devised and committed
     by Jews, either to get money or to avoid paying money, are exposed and
     candidly revealed by Jewish jokes." [REIK, T., 1962, p. 67]

There is even an entire tradition of Yiddish folksongs like this:

     "Stealing has made its home in my heart,
     It doesn't let me alone for a moment.
     It tells me that it was made just for me,
     That it can't live without me for a moment."
     [RUBIN, R., 2001 -- Song 8]

Jewish author Stephen Bloom was troubled when, during studies of an ultra-Orthodox group in America with deep roots in Jewish tradition, "anti-Semitic" stereotypes about Jews and money seemed confirmed:

     "To Lazar, bargaining was a thoroughly Jewish endeavor. Negotiating the
     lowest price wasn't chutzpah, it was tradition. 'I don't feel like a Jew unless
     I bargain!' Lazar bellowed. 'I feel bad when I don't make a deal. That's
     part of being a Jew! A Jew has to know he got something for the absolute
     lowest price -- or he feels rotten.' If Lazar hadn't been telling me this,
     I'd have thought it was one of the [non-Jewish] regulars at Ginger's
     [diner]. Lazar meant what he said, and his remarks were totally anti-Semitic.
     If anyone else were saying this, Lazar would have him by the throat."
     [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 209]
"Perhaps money is to Jews," suggested Gerald Krefetz in his 1982 book, Jews and Money, "what aggression and territoriality is to other national, religious, and ethnic groups, "... In the American context ... it continues to exert a magnetic attraction, for Jews seem to make much of it and hold it in high regard." [KREFETZ, p. 30] Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes the Jewish religious perspective on making money, that "the Torah treats protectively the money of Israel." [SACKS, J., p. 107]  "The Bible [Torah] is all about business," adds Rabbi Burton Visotzky, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, "In Exodus, people step out of the family, forming a corporate entity. A lot of negotiation goes on. Abraham negotiates with God, with Pharoah; Moses negotiates with God, with the people." [ELLIN]
Forbes business magazine even featured a story in 1999 about this same Rabbi Visotzky, who teaches a monthly religious session to 20 powerful Jewish Manhattan businessmen. The article is intriguing for its insights on Jewish morality. On the day the reporter attended, the subject of discussion was Genesis 12:10-20. In this part of the Torah, the reader finds the disturbing story of the seminal Jewish patriarch Abraham, who pretends that his pretty wife, Sarah, is his sister so that he may both protect himself and sell her to the Egyptian Pharaoh. (She was, in fact, however incestuous, his half-sister.) [SMITH, M., 1989, p. 138] "This ploy," notes the Forbes reporter, "will not only save his life but also allow him to turn a profit on her sale. Less delicately put, Abraham becomes Sarah's pimp." [LEE, S., 11-10-99] After Abraham reaps payment, God punishes Pharaoh by cursing his land with the plague. The Egyptian leader returns Sarah to Abraham and bans them from his land. "Payoff time again for Abraham," notes the reporter, " -- Pharaoh pays him hush money." [LEE, S., 11-10-99]  Rabbi Visotzky then explained for Forbes the essence, as he saw it, to the biblical tale, quoting a lawyer in his study group who suggested that, "Morality aside, you may not like it, but by the end of the chapter -- let's face it -- Abraham is talking one-on-one with the head of state and he's earned start up costs." Visotzky then adds: "This is what it means to be a small and embattled people who are going to survive at any cost. The only thing that matters is the bottom line." [LEE, S., 11-10-99]
(In this genre, a turn-of-the-century Jewish scholar, Cesare Lombroso, even argued that "among the Jews, before the definitive version of the Tablets of Law, the father had the right to sell the daughter to a man who would make of her his concubine for a period of time established by the sales contract ... The Jews thus trafficked in the prostitution of their own daughters."  [HARROWITZ, p. 117] In 2001, African-American reverend Jesse Jackson, mired in a scandal when it was discovered he had fathered a new child out of his marriage, turned to study the Torah with New York rabbi Marc Schneier, for solace. The rabbi "and Jackson," noted the Jewiish Telegraphic Agency, "studied the portion of Genesis in which Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law, mistaking her for a prostitute. Despite his transgression, Judah is chosen from among his brothers to become heir to Jacob's dynasty, which later produces King David and, Jewish tradition holds, will one day produce the Messiah.") [WIENER, J., 1-26-01]
Such Abrahamic ethics of survival and self-promotion aside, the Jewish historian Werner Mosse, in a review of Sombart's theses, notes that
      "What Jews brought with them from their past into the industrial age
       was, as has often been noted, their particular appreciation of the
       value of money." [MOSSE, p. 8]
Mosse argues that this "appreciation of the value of money" was the Jewish means to security as a minority people in hostile Europe. "Significant also," Mosse writes, "is the sense of Jewish solidarity overriding even the economic competition. What gives this solidarity a special economic significance is the dispersal of Jews across national boundaries." [MOSSE, p. 11]
This transnational allegiance to other Jews, and their lack of patriotic and defensive obligation to even the land in which they lived (until, for the assimilated, the 1800s), afforded Jews a uniquely favorable position of self-preservation and prosperity at the expense of non-Jews around them. Hannah Arendt notes that
               "The Jews had been the purveyors in wars and the servants of
                Kings, but they did not and were not expected to engage in
                conflicts themselves. When these conflicts enlarged into national
                wars, they still remained an international element whose
                importance and usefulness lay precisely in their not being bound
                to any national cause." [ARENDT, p. 21]
This Jewish inter-connectedness across many lands, their own trans-national languages of Hebrew and/or Yiddish, and a materialist ethic (antithetical to the Middle Age Christian morals around them) accentuated -- often in monopolistic form -- further Jewish development in money-lending, merchantry, and other trades. (As early as the 4th century the Archbishop of Constantinople, St. John Chrysotome, noted that the Jews in the declining Roman Empire "possessed large sums of money and that their patriarchs assembled immense treasures." Jews occupied "the highest commercial position in (Antioch), causing a cessation of all business when they celebrated their holidays." [LEON, p. 123]
Jewish cross national links and associated expertise in money-making matters gave rise, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, to the phenomenon of "Court Jews," specious pseudo-princes eventually ubiquitous throughout Europe. Most of the hundreds of European nobles had Court Jews, who were usually afforded formal titles of aristocracy. By the 18th century, notes prominent Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz, "every state in Germany had its Court Jew or Jews, upon whose support the finances of the land depended." [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 55] These confidantes of the nobility were influential in effecting requests and concessions on behalf of the Jewish communities. "What was characteristic of the Court Jew ... was his close association with [the Jewish] community whose interests he championed." [MEYER, p. 105]  "The Jewish heritage," says Selma Stern, "... which was the innermost core of their existence, made [Court Jews] remain ... more Jews than court factors." [STERN, p. 241]
At various times and various places, such Jews were afforded trade monopolies by the European aristocrats, including the dealing of jewels, silver, tobacco, velvet, and other luxuries and commodities.  All classes, and especially the poor, could be critically and negatively effected by such Jewish manipulations. In the seventeenth century, for instance, Moses Jacobson "almost monopolized the highly important salt trade [to Poland and Lithuania] limiting the quantities he imported from Holland so the prices remained high. He bought so many goods that he could load up whole ships and deprived local merchants of their livelihoods." [CARSTEN, p. 145]
"[The Court Jews] became," says Lewis Coser, "the rulers' instrument for destroying feudal forces, estates, and guilds restricting his power. They were his financiers and bankers and collaborators.... " [COSER, p 575] "In their capacity as bankers and money lenders," says Selma Stern, "[Court Jews] often participated in political councils, in secret diplomatic missions, in the negotiation of peace treaties, and in military conferences." [STERN, p. 115] Eva Hoffman calls similar Jews in the Polish empire "court servitors." "One such servitor," she observes, "a man known as Becal, paid a large sum to the king in return for a license to collect royal tolls in Ruthenia and Volhynia -- in defiance of a law prohibiting Jews to lease royal customs. Over time, some of the more successful Jews began to identify with the szlachta [the aristocracy], adopting its dress, comportment and sometimes its arrogance." [HOFFMAN, E., 1997, p. 50]
Such Jews also functioned as the official gold and silver suppliers, as well as the money minters, for the nobles of various lands. Usually (but not always) under sanction of the Lords, these Jews, lessees of the royal mints, often withdrew millions of pieces of common coinage, particularly during wars, to reduce their silver content towards skimming profit for themselves and the ruling aristocracies. The resultant "devaluation of the currency and staggering inflation" was a "despised but very lucrative business" provoking "the ire and hatred of the impoverishing population" against the Jewish community. [BREUER, p. 109-110] During the Seven Years War in the mid-1700, 20-25 percent of Prussia's war costs were raised in this way. "Whatever the ethical questions surrounding the operation of the mint entrepreneurs," notes Steven Lowenstein, "there can be little question that [the Seven Years War] created a new type of Jewish elite." [LOWENSTEIN]
"[Court Jews]," says Stern, "were charged with counterfeiting and with violating money regulation; they were accused of money-clipping... they were blamed for the disorder in the currency system, for the fluctuations in the value of money, and for the resultant impoverishment of the subjects of the realm." [STERN, p. 162]
Another Jewish proclivity, war profiteering, has a long history. Jews were "prominent as military suppliers to Christians against Muslims in 13th century Spain, and against a rebellion of Catalonian nobility against King Pedro III of Aragon (1276-1285)." Jews, in this era, "also played a prominent role in the production of military equipment, metal casting, and armament manufacture." [ENCY JUD, p. 934] In the 16th century, some Jews were experts in gunpowder and cannon manufacture and co-religionists "probably served as military suppliers during this period in Central Europe also." [ENCY JUD, p. 934]  In the 17th and 18th centuries Jews in Amsterdam supplied the armies of Holland, Morocco, and England. Various internal 17th century wars in Morocco provided Dutch Jews the opportunity to "act as military suppliers to all sides involved in the conflict." [ENCY JUD, p. 934] 
Jewish war profiteering was so widespread by the sixteenth and seventeenth century that "no war was waged in Germany" without Jewish financing, [MEYER, p. 106] and Court Jews across Europe were loaning rival aristocracies funds for supplying Christian armies to war against each other. Jews were hence positioned for centuries as prime war profiteers and beneficiaries of Gentile political turmoil. Jews risked not their lives in these conflicts as combatants (some Jews began to serve in armies after Emancipation), but their investments (and increased popular Gentile hostility) during risky times. During the many wars of Europe, "this situation," says F. L. Carsten,
     "proved the great opportunity for those Jews who provided the
     armies with food and fodder, bought the soldiers' booty at advantageous
     prices and traded in the wake of the armies. Because there were so many
     princes and because they all needed loans so badly, this was the
     opportunity not only for a few Jews attached to one court, but for
     dozens, even hundreds, working for many different princes, to supply
     them with what they needed, or rather more often what they did not
     need." [CARSTEN, p. 143]   
"Although the Court Jews themselves constituted only a minute proportion of the Jewish population," says the Encyclopedia Judaica, "they required a widespread network of subcontractors, petty merchants, etc., who were also Jewish, in order to fulfill their functions as major contractor-suppliers, especially in war time. Large scale providing was achieved through contacts with Jewish dealers in Eastern Europe." Anti-Jewish critics contended that in Germany at this time "all the military suppliers were Jews and all the Jews were military suppliers." [ENCY JUD, v. 5, p. 934] Prominent Jewish war contractors included the Model family, Joseph Oppenheimer, the Gomperz family, Israel Avaron, and the Wertheimer, Mayer, and Herschel families. In England Abraham Israel "was the most prominent contractor during the rule of Cromwell." Jews supplied William of Orange's military needs in the 1700's and Solomon de Medina supplied the troops of the Duke of Marlborough. Jews supplied the Duke of Schoenber's armies in Ireland and Peterborough's campaigns against the Spanish. Robert Harley "was accused of ruining the economy of England in order to enrich Jewish military suppliers." [ENCY JUD, v. 5,  p. 935]
"European history in the Baroque Age," notes Howard Sachar, "is studded with the names of these resourceful Jewish agents: men such as Israel Aaron, the first Jew to be admitted to East Prussia, who served as army supplier to Frederick William, the Great Elector, during all of Frederick William's European wars; the banker Elias Gumperts of Cleves, who was also of use to the Great Elector in furnishing stone, wood, palisades, uniforms, munitions, food, and money for fortresses along the Rhine ... During the war of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War in the eighteenth century, we find Jewish purveyors aligned with a Bavarian army that at one moment fought with, and the next moment against, the Prussians." [SACHAR, p. 24]
Jews also provided the French military supplies beginning in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Louis XIV. Abraham Gradis also supplied the French troops in Canada during the Seven Years War in the 18th century. "Among their other activities ["the Jewish banking firm of Mendes"] is reputed to have financed the French war in Canada, and to have dealt in bullion imports from America. Such operations as these naturally led to employment of these [Jewish Sephardic] Marrano bankers as loan agents by various European monarchs and for a couple of centuries or so practically all wars were more or less financed from these sources." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15]
Jews also "played a prominent role in supplying weapons and provisions to the English army in the colonies." Mathias Bush provided the troops in Pennsylvania against the French, the Frank family contracted for the English army in America, and the Shaftall family supplied the American army in Georgia. [ENCY JUD, v. 5, p. 935] Even in a small town like Talbotton, near Atlanta, Georgia, "a local grand jury called to investigate war profiteering [in the Civil War] issued a report that blamed all the town's problems on unnamed Jewish businessmen." [TRACHTENBERG, 1996, p. 18] "Joseph Seligman, founder of the investment firm J. & W. Seligman, ws the person [Abraham] Lincoln trusted to convince European investors to buy Union bonds to finance the cost of the Civil War. Emmanuel Lehman, one of the founders of the Southern-based investment banking house Lehman Brothers, went to Europe and raised a great deal of money for the Confederacy." [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 45-46]
In 1618-1648 a series of wars -- known as the Thirty Years Wars -- spread across Europe. Largely a Catholic-Protestant conflict, it also echoed economic and territorial animosities. Germany was particularly devastated. The largely mercenary armies traversing Europe were often unpaid and ended up looting and ravaging the general populace.  Starvation was rampant. "The agony of the Thirty Years War," says Jewish historian Howard Sachar, with a flair for descriptive deprecation, "had literally pulverized the German peasantry into a race of hysterical grass-eating mystics." [SACHAR, p. 65]  Grass-eating mystics or not, another Jewish scholar notes that "while the Christian populace was decimated -- in a number of regions reduced by 60 to 70 per cent -- the Jewish population as a whole experienced only a minimal overall decline ... Many Jews were able to provide services useful for the conduct of the war in their capacity as middle men, suppliers of goods, and credit agents." [MEYER, Ed., p. 95]   "Many Jewish businessmen in the 17th century," says Sachar, "laid the foundation for his modest fortune by his purchase and disposal of the debris left on the battlefield of the Thirty Years War. Of course, foraging for one's own duke behind enemy lines, or even within one's own lines, was dangerous work, and not infrequently Jews were caught and executed as spies." [SACHAR, p. 23] "
"In Vienna," notes Joachim Prinz, "after the Thrity Years' War, for example, the wealth of many of the Jewish families intoxicated the whole Jewish community ... In Russia, some Jews seemed to propser during the Thirsty Years' War because they were the tax colectors for the state." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 52] "The Thirty Years' War," adds J. O. Hertzler, " ... brought destruction, starvation, and pestilence. Again the spleen of dispossessed princes and impoverished and outraged peasants was vented upon the Jews who had achieved prosperity through their purchases and trade." [HERTZLER, p. 95] During such periods, being Jewish was a distinct advantage towards survival.  One rabbi of the era noted that "the soldiers, for years now on the march through the towns and villages, have often treated us more kindly than the non-Jews, so that Gentiles have sometimes brought their belongings to Jews for safe-keeping." [MEYER, Ed., p. 97]  Historian Mack Holt notes the situation of the people of France during times of warring:
     "[The civilians] overcome the dual threat of death and destruction
     from the soldiers themselves, as well as the pressure and hardship
     of royal taxation which the king needed to pay for the military
     destruction ... [There was also] the threat of financial ruin meted
     out by the crown's tax collectors ... [HOLT, p. 195] Whenever
     marauding troops billeted themselves on the civilian population,
     they invariably seized all livestock and grain stores as a matter of
     practice." [HOLT, p. 197]
Wealthy Jews were involved in the financing of World War I (Jews "played a prominent part in organizing the German war economy") [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 257] as well as earlier German wars of unification. Geran Bleichroeder's money, for instance, was notable in 1866, during fighting between Prussia and Austria. The Philipp Speyer firm in Germany was involved in arranging credit for the United States during its Civil War and was involved in financing the building of railroads across America. [GROSS, N., p. 219] Earlier, Daniel Franks "was instrumental in raising money for the British army during the French and Indian War with the aid of his brother, Moses, a London financier." [GROSS, N., p. 223] Mayer Amschel Rothschild's "great fortune was acquired by hiring [William IX's] troops, as mercenaries to the British in the American Revolutionary War." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15] Conversely, Haym Solomon, an immigrant from Poland, helped secure credit for the American Revolution from France and the Netherlands. In Germany, "through [Ludwig] Loewe's brother Isidor (1848-1910) and jointly with the firm of Mauser, an order of unprecedented magnitude was obtained for equipping the Turkish army." [GIDAL, p. 266] After a merger with the Mauser company, this company "was supplying half the armies of the world with rifles." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 74] The London Rothschilds "found the 20,000,000 pounds to compensate slave owners after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. In 1854 a 16,000,000 pound loan to finance the Crimean War was launched through the House of Rothschild, and in 1871 they raise 100,000,000 pounds to help France pay her war indemnity to Prussia. " [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40]
"Among the branches of trade in which Jews achieved special prominence," underscores Jewish scholar W.E. Mosse, "the outstanding one in the early nineteenth century was, undoubtably, war contracting. It was this activity which may be said to have laid the foundations of the fortunes of the German-Jewish economic elite. This was, unquestionably, the major source of early Jewish capital accumulation." [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 386] Mosse suggest that some of the reasons why war profiteering became such an important source of Jewish economic activity was rooted in "the quasi-monopoly" they held in the European agricultural produce trade and "corruption in business dealings" with "those responsible for awarding military contracts." [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 388] Eventually Jews rose to become "prominent" even in the armaments industry itself, including weapons and ammunition. (Even Chaim Weizmann, a chemist and eventually the first president of modern Israel, was instrumental in providing acetone as an explosive ingredient for British heavy artillery at a crucial time during the first World War. Weizmann's efforts helped secure formal British government support for the principle of a Jewish state in the land then known as Palestine). [RHODES, R., 1988, p. 88-91]
With the rise of European political movements against the Jews in the late nineteenth century, Albert Lindemann notes that "a European-wide body of opinion, cutting across class lines, focused on what was perceived as Jewish ruthlessness and immorality in search of profit. It was often asserted, and much discussed in the press, that the brutal Boer War (in South Africa, 1899-1902) was manipulated to benefit wealthy Jews. The repression of an uprising in 1907, in the course of which thousands of starving and desperate Romanian peasants were slaughtered, was widely described as protecting Jewish interests.... Involvement of Jews in these matters was not only plausible but real enough." [LINDEMANN, p. 32-33] "[Jews] were a crucial element in the development of South Africa during the final quarter of the nineteenth century and a considerable proportion of the 'Uitlanders,' whose restiveness undere Boer rule was to lead to the South African war, were Jews. Among them was ... Barney Barnato ... [who] built up one of the largest fortunes in South Africa and controlled a labour force of one hundred and twenty thousand men." [BERMNANT, C., 1977, p. 54]
In Germany, says Sarah Gordon, there was "the popular belief that Jews had been highly active as war profiteers between 1914 and 1918 [World War I], and that they had promoted or gained from postwar inflation by questionable activities as financiers and middlemen. Anti-Semites eagerly compiled statistics on Jewish criminal activity, both real and bogus, to buttress their arguments." [GORDON, p. 53]  "The most repulsive of men," remarked the well-known German Jewish philosopher (and Zionist) Martin Buber, "is the oily war profiteer, who does not cheat any God, for he knows none. And the Jewish profiteer is more repugnant than the non-Jewish for he has fallen lower." [MENDES-FLOHR, BUBER, p. 141]
Jewish international economic power toward expressly Jewish political ends in a war could even be asserted in Asia. At the turn of the twentieth century, American Jews who were concerned about a perceived Russian mistreatment of its Jewish citizens included Jacob Schiff, a senior partner in the American banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, and Co. He believed that "the only hope for Russian Jews seemed to lay in the possibility that the Russo-Japanese War would lead to upheaval in Russia and constitutional government there." [BEST, G., 1972, p. 315] Toward this end, Schiff helped Japan raise $180 million, nearly one-fourth of the total Japanese expenditure in its war with Russia.  Schiff, the wealthy capitalist, even funded socialist indoctrination programs for Russian prisoners of war by the Japanese, in the hope that this might aid in the Tsar's downfall. [LINDEMANN, p. 170] The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia claims that "in his later years [Schiff] recognized that he had innocently aided in the creation of a menace in the shape of Japanese imperialism." [UJE, v. 9, p. 400]
At the same time, since 1890, Jewish-American financiers -- led by Jacob Schiff, Isaac Seligman, and Adolph Lewisohn -- had vigorously lobbied the powerful international Jewish banking community as a collective entity to reject Russia's own searches for loans. Ultimately defeated by Japan and suffering great indemnity demands, Tsarist Russia faced a largely successful international economic lockout by Jewish money lenders (the Russian government ultimately collapsed to the communist revolution, a situation international Jewry hoped to be better for Russian Jews). "A great nation," reported the Jewish Chronicle with satisfaction about the teetering Tsarist state, "was now going from one Jewish banker to the other, vainly appealing for financial help." [ARONSFELD, p. 103]
Simon Wolf, Chairman of the Board of Delegates of the United American Hebrew Congregation, wrote that
     "Russia at this juncture needs two important elements to inspire its future
      prosperity and happiness: money and friends ... The Jews of the world
      control much of the first ... There is no disguising the fact that in the
      United States especially the Jews form an important factor in the
      formation of public opinion and in the control of the finances...”
      [ARONSFELD, p. 100]
The following ultimatum to the huge country of Russia, and a threat to those who broke Jewish ranks to do business with it, was announced by a group of Jewish American businessmen wielding their own foreign policy, self-described as the "Hebrew alliance:"
       "First, until equal civil and religious rights are given the Jews of Russia,
        no money will be loaned the Russian government by any American
        Second, the Rothschilds [the worlds greatest and far-reaching banking
        firm, based in Europe] are united with the American Jewish bankers in
        this agreement and will use all their enormous prestige and power to
        assist in carrying out the threat.
        Third, no financial concern will be allowed to loan Russia money, under
         pain of the displeasure and financial punishment that such a
         combination of resources of the Hebrew alliance could so readily
         dispense." [ARONSFELD, p. 100]
Jewish economic collusion against Russia, notes Edwin Black, "was widely criticized for the stubborn continuation of their boycott even as it threatened the Allies' [World War I] war effort. But the boycott remained in effect until the monarchy was toppled in 1917." [BLACK, p. 31] Even within Russia itself, a Jewish "adventurous millionaire," Parvus (aka Israel Lazarevitch Gelfand, or also anglicized as Helphand), was a sponsor of V. I. Lenin. [SINGER, N., p. 2]  In this historical context -- the "conspiracy" of international Jewish financiers unifying to bring Tsarist Russia to collapse -- the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia notes that "the canard of the Jewish conspiracy to attain political world domination originated at the time when the Tsarist regime was threatened with revolution." [UJE, v. 3, p. 1] The most famous anti-Semitic volume of all time, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which claimed to evidence a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world, was created -- and published -- in Russia at this time.
Stemming to great extent from profits garnered from the mostly Christian misery of Europe's Thirty Years War, the phenomena of "Court Jews" rose to power and prominence in the 17th century, forging grandiose and pompous lifestyles that stirred ill will from the common peasantry. "The wealth and luxury displayed by many Court Jews," says F.L. Carsten, "indeed made them an easy target for popular wrath. Many maintained great houses and loved ostentatious, grand displays, as so many princes and nobles did." [CARSTEN, p. 151]  "Court Jews," says Selma Stern, "built and bought stately homes in which they reigned in patriarchal fashion in the midst of their numerous employees, clerks, servants, business friends, Talmudic scholars, and Yeshiva students." [STERN, p. 228] (A Jewish author even wrote an entire book about an earlier European period, 768-900 BCE, when there existed "a Jewish princedom in feudal France." Arthur Zuckerman noted that there is "unimpeachable evidence that the Carolingian Kings granted Septimanian Jewry a domain of considerable extent along the Mediterranean seacoast and on the borders of Spain.") [ZUCKERMAN, A., 1972, p. 13]
Court Jew Behrend Lehman, for example, was so wealthy that he owned a castle and thirteen villages. Israel Jacobson owned fifteen estates and other property throughout Germany. [CARSTEN, p. 151] Suss Oppenheimer, one of the most famous Court Jews (who was hanged when his aristocratic benefactor died and political winds changed) "with an extended network of Jewish financiers throughout Germany and the Netherlands" financed wars for the Hapsburg Empire against Louis XIV in 1688. His economic support helped save Vienna from the Turks in 1683 and his money  "played a decisive role" in the siege and capture of Budapest in 1686 and Belgrade in 1688. [MEYER, p. 106] Oppenheimer reflected common Jewish practice by doing "all his business with other Jews; [he] gave contracts for military and court supplies only to them." [CARSTEN, p. 155]
In gleaning from the wars of the non-Jews around them, Court Jews not only kept their lucrative business networking within the local and transnational Jewish community, they even took the self-protective, self-promotive clan ethic to the next extreme. Although Court Jews were scattered in nations throughout Europe,
      "virtually all of the many hundreds of Court Jews were related by
       marriage. This was of considerable advantage for their financial,
       diplomatic, and dynastic services."  [BREUER, p. 112]
Not surprisingly, on the other end of the economic spectrum, Jewish street thieves and robbers followed the same clannish pattern as their wealthy counterparts. "I believe I can prove," said a commentator in the nineteenth century, "by means of a genealogical table that at least several hundred of the most notorious Jewish bandits alive form one single family." [BREUER, p. 249]
This notion of a "single family" has much broader implications. The collective incestuous economic character of both rich and lower class Jews, unified as members of an ethno-religious clan and functioning as a self-contained network within and against the non-Jewish communities in which they lived, even transnationally, is noted by Deborah Hertz in a commentary about the wealthy Jews of Berlin who rose to prominence in the eighteenth century:
     "None of the loaning, purveying, selling, or investing feats performed
     by the wealthy Jews in Berlin could have been executed without the aid
     of poor Jews who lived in small villages to the east. Both economic
     historians and anti-Semites alike have pointed out that cooperation
     between Jewish financiers in various European capitals was
     indispensable for Jewish financial interests in this era. It has less
     frequently been noted that the international ties linking Jews in different
     cities were also ties across the Jewish social hierarchy." [HERTZ, p. 44]
This Jewish emphasis towards ethnocentric unity and monopolistic economic control is a foundation of Jewish Diaspora history and surfaces and resurfaces over the centuries all over Europe. Jews were often expelled ("due as a rule to economic causes") [HERTZLER, p. 88] en masse from towns, provinces, and even entire countries many times in their history.
These include:
1012 - Mainz                     1446 - Brandenburg          1541 - Prague
1182 - France                    1462 - Mainz                    1550 - Genoa
1276 - Upper Bavaria         1483 - Mainz                    1551 - Bavaria
1296 - England                  1483 - Warsaw                 1557 - Prague
1306 - France                    1492 - Spain                     1569 - Papal states
1322 - France                    1496 - Portugal                 1649 - Hamburg
1394 - France                    1496 - Naples                   1669 - Vienna
1420 - Lyons                     1498 - Nuremberg             1744 - Bohemia
1421 - Austria                    1510 - Brandenberg                     Moravia
1424 - Cologne                  1515 - Genoa                              Prague
1438 - Mainz                      1533 - Naples                   1891 - Moscow
1439 - Augsburg                1541 - Naples       [SIEGEL, p. 127-129]
On a more local scene, in England alone, for example, resulting from complaints and animosities against Jews leading up to their expulsion from the country in 1296, Jews were expelled from a number of cities, including
1190 - Bury St. Edmund          1236 - Southampton
1231 - Leicester                       1242 - Berkhamsted
1234 - Newcastle                     1244 - Newbury
1235 - Wycombe                     1263 - Derby            
   [BARON, Ancient, p. 243]
From the 15th century to the late 19th century Jews were also banned from most of Russia as an inassimilable "alien people," limited to living in an area (with large numbers of other ethnic peoples) commonly referred to as the Pale of Settlement. Jews consisted of about 12% of the total population of this area.

Joachim Prinz notes the difficulties faced by the French attempt to ban Jews from all of France:

     "In 1683, the French government insisted upon a general expulsion of the Jews
     from France. Special instructions were sent to the authorities of Bordeaux,
     which had a considerable community of Marranos [secret Jews], warning them
     'not to expel more than a dozen Conversos [Marranos] every year because if
     if they are forced to leave Bordeaux, it would ruin the city's economy as the
     commerce is almost entirely in the hands of that sort of persons.'" [PRINZ,
     J., 1973, p. 129]

Although modern Jewish apologists tend to stress Christian religious persecution of Jewry, the much more vital reason for non-Jewish animosity, wherever Jews were, was that Jews often formed strangleholds on important parts of local economies, thanks to their centuries-old domination in commerce and often "unsavory" business practices, as well as their clannishness and transnational loyalties and allegiances to each other, always at the expense of non-Jews. As Deborah Hertz writes, concerning Germany,
     "Across the German-speaking territories, city councils, princes, and
     emperors were besieged by complaints from gentile craftsmen and
     merchants that Jewish business practices already had or would soon
     undermine their livelihood." [HERTZ, p. 37]
In Strasbourg, notes Howard Sachar, in 1806, Napoleon "was inundated with anti-Jewish grievances, with accounts of the 'ruination' of the peasantry by Jewish moneylenders. The petitioners begged the emperor to take special measures against Jewish foreclosures." [SACHAR, p. 44]  Jews are often portrayed in history as having been "forced into" their usurious paths. "It is self-evident," counters Abram Leon, "that the claim, as do most historians, that the Jews began to engage in lending only after their elimination from trades is a vulgar error. Usurious capital is the brother of commercial capital ... The eviction of Jews from commerce had as a consequence their entrenchment in one of the professions which they had already practiced previously." [LEON, p. 138]
The periodic consequences for Jewish exploitation of the impoverished could be violent.  The Jewish Polish scholar Yitzak Schipper believed that "by the thirteenth century ... the Jewish moneylender became the creditor of the poor classes of feudal society. He came face to face with those who could least afford to pay interest and carry the burden of medieval usury ... The religious motive propagated and stimulated by the Crusaders was hardly a decisive factor in the hatred and persecution of the Jews. Jewish pogroms in the Middle Ages were of a strictly socio-economic character.. The main purpose [of the violent attacks against Jews] was the destruction of promissory notes..." [LITMAN, p. 65, 67]
In later centuries, "in Austria," says Albert Lindemann, "the capitalist financiers, the stockjobbers, the builders of the railroads, those responsible for the bankruptcies of [non-Jewish] artisans and small investors were undeniably to large extent of Jewish background." [LINDEMANN, p. 25]
The rise of powerful Jewish banking institutions began -- especially in Germany and the Netherlands -- in the seventeenth century. Wealthy Jews became influential in Dutch imperialist activities overseas, many as shareholders in both the Dutch East and West India Companies. About a quarter of both the Dutch East and West India companies were Jews; they also represented 37 of 41 members of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in this era. [SACHAR, p. 28]  When the Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant, of New Amsterdam (now known as New York City), wrote a letter in 1655 to his superiors at the Dutch West India Company to seek permission to ban Jews from his colony, he was rebuffed. "He did not reckon," notes Lewis Wirth, "with the fact that the Jews of Amsterdam were financially interested in the company that employed him and were represented in the Board of Directors." [WIRTH, p. 133]

"In Germany," notes Joachim Prinz,

     "forty Marrano ['secret' Jewish] families paticipated in founding the Bank of Hamburg
     in 1619, and by the middle of that century they were accused of having too
     luxurious a life style, as evidenced by their palatial homes and their ostentatious
     funerals and weddings ... Some of the finest homes in Amsterdam belonged to
     newly arrived Marranos." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 127]
By the late seventeenth century important Jewish banking firms were founded in London. Sir David Salomons, "one of the founders of the Westminster Bank, is also recognized as one of the creators of the joint stock system. Furthermore, London owes its position as the world's money centre largely due to the activities of three Jewish banking houses, namely the Goldschmid family, the house of Rothschild, and the banker Lord Swaythling." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 16] "Several Jews," says Howard Sachar,
     "were ... directors of the East India Company and of Lloyd's of
     London...  [SACHAR, p. 28]  ... In the early modern age, the courts
     of Europe were almost completely dependent upon private bankers
     for short term loans ... most of the money in those days ... was in
     the hands of the Jewish dealers in gems and precious metals. The
     identical circumstances that produced the merchant and purveyor
     produced the Jewish banker: his connection with the Netherlands,
     the banking center of Europe, through his Sephardic brethren, his
     international connections in all the mercantile centers of Europe;
     above all, his long experience in dealing with precious metals and
     the currencies of the continent." [SACHAR, p. 24]
The most famous banking house in history and the enduring symbol of international finance, investment banking, and trans-Jewish intrigue, the House of Rothschild (HR) of Frankfurt, Germany, rose to economic power in the nineteenth century, with branches throughout Europe.  "The key aspect of the HR operational strategy," notes Sam Lehman-Wilzig, "was secrecy ... The extent to which [the Rothschilds] followed this strategy [of secrecy] bordered on the incredible. To this day their records have not been made public." [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 254]  "By the mid- [nineteenth] century," writes Benjamin Ginsberg, "the entire European state system was dependent upon the international financial networks dominated by the Rothschilds." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 18] "Instances occurred," notes Howard Sachar, "in which the Rothschilds demonstrably altered the course of international politics." [SACHAR, p. 137] Its quick reversal of political allegiance, national loyalties, and attendant financing is noted by Hannah Arendt:
       "It took the French Rothschilds in 1848 hardly twenty-four hours to
        transfer their services from the government of Louis Philippe to the
        new short-lived French Republic and again to Napoleon III."
        [ARENDT, p. 24]
The vast empire of the Rothschilds alone evoked growing non-Jewish resentment. Arendt rhetorically wonders, "Where, indeed, was there better proof of the fantastic concept of a world Jewish government than in this one family, the Rothschilds, nationals of five different countries, prominent everywhere, in close cooperation with at least three different governments (French, Austrian, British), whose frequent conflicts never for a moment shook the solidarity at interest of their state bankers? No propaganda could have created a symbol more effective for political purposes than reality itself." [SACHAR, p. 136]
For many historians, the House of Rothschild is seminal in the examination of the rise of international capitalism. The Rothschilds may be even understood as the very protoype for the modern multinational corporation. "Considering HR's dual policy of economic expansion and aid to their Jewish brethren," notes Sam Lehman-Wilzig, "comparison to modern TNOs [transnational organizations] are especially intriguing ... [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 260]  ... In those territories where the firm was already established, the [Rothschild] brothers used their presence with its concomitant financial importance for the area as an umbrella under which other Jews could be harmed only at risk of HR retribution." [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 255]  "Along with love of business," added Joel Kotkin in 1993, "the Rothschilds [still] remain united by another, larger vocation, one extending beyond business, family, and even nation -- the vocation of being Jews." [KOTKIN, p. 16]
The Rothschild banking concerns, however, were far from the only ones. Major Jewish investment banking organizations across Europe included those of the Seligmans, Oppenheimers, Habers, Speyers, Warburgs, Mendelssohns, Bleichroders, Eskeles, Arnsteins, Montagus, Goldsmids, Hambros, Sassoons, and others. The Jewish international banking network that floated state loans to finance European industry and railroads was wide: the five Rothschild brothers were in London, Paris, Vienna, Frankfort, and Naples. The Bleichroders were based in Berlin, the Warburgs in Hamburg, the Oppenheims in Cologne, the Sassoons in Bombay, the Guenzburgs in St. Petersburg. Jews were also influential in the creation of influential joint stock and commercial banks including two of Germany's largest -- the Deutsche Bank and the Dersdner Bank, as well as Credit Mobilier, Banque de Paris, Banca Commerciale Italiana, Credito Italiano, Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Banque de Bruxelles, among others. [KREFETZ, p. 46]

"There was, by the end of the nineteenth century," notes Chaim Bermant, "hardly a financial centre where Jewish bankers did not enjoy a position of considerable prominence. In Brussels there was the house of Bischoffsheim, and also Errers, Oppenheim and Stern who combined with Sulzbach and May of Frankfurt to form the Banque du Bruxelles, in 1821. In Switzerland Isaac Dreyfus and Sons participated in the formation of the Basler Handelsbank and the Basler Bankverein. In Holland there was Wertheimer and Gompertz and the house of Lissa and Kann. The Hungarian Genral Credit Bank of Budapest was of Jewish creation as were the Hungarian Commercial Bank and and the Hungarian Hypothecary Credit Bank. In St. Petersburg the Guenzburg families established the Discount and Credit Bank as well as the Bank of St. Pettersburg. The Warsaw Discount Bank was founded in 1871 by Mieczystaw Epstein, and Leopold Kronenberg took part in the formation of the Warsaw Credit Union as well as the Bank Hadlowy; but it was London, until World War I the banking capital of the world, which saw the largest concentration of Jewish financial talent [Rothschilds, Hambros, Speyers, Erlangers, Cassels, Sassoons, Hirschs, etc.]." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40]
Louis Frankel was "one of the most important financiers in Sweden;” Isaac Gluckstadt was "one of the most famous financiers in Denmark." Maurice Blank founded what became the "the second largest bank in Romania and the largest privately owned bank in the country." Ernest Cassel "established the National Bank of Egypt." [GREENBERG, M., p. 68-70]  Maurice de Hirsch "helped place the first Turkish loan in Paris in 1854 and had, jointly, with the Ottoman bank, helped to establish the Credit Generale Ottoman in Constantinople, both of which gave him invaluable Turkish contacts." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 43] "The first international bank [that] opened in Germany was founded by a Marrano, Diego Teixera de Mattos in Hamburg ... [By] the middle of the eighteenth century ... the Pintos, Delmontes, Bueno de Mesquita and Francis Mels of Amsterdam were the leading financiers of northern Europe." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15]
In the United State, between 1840 and 1880, important Jewish banking firms that developed included those of August Belmont, Goldman Sachs, J.W. Seligman, Kuhn Loeb, Ladenburg Thalmann, Lazard Freres, Lehman Brothers, Speyer, and Wertheim. "Jewish bankers," notes Gerald Krefetz, "projected an image of concentrated power because they often acted in concert, collaborating on financial deals." [KREFETZ, p. 47] 
Wherever Jews have lived (and live) in their diaspora, following their collectivist strategies and aggressive opportunism that have served them well throughout history, they have often risen to extraordinary economic and social power. This was true in the Muslim world where Jews in the eleventh century "attained the highest level of political power in Muslim Spain," in North Africa in the tenth and eleventh centuries when Jews "were important bankers, financiers, and advisors to the caliphates," and in the Turkish Ottoman Empire where, by the fifteenth century, Jews "were particularly useful to the Ottomans because they lacked any tie to any of the subject populations of the multiethnic empire and, thus, could be entrusted with unpopular tasks such as tax collection." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 14-15] In the Ottoman empire, Jews    

     "mainly worked in trade, and their role was particularly important to farming taxes,
      the collection of customs dues, and in the mint. They controlled all major tax
      farming in the Istanbul region in 1470-80 ... Jews continued to play an important
      role in this sector in the sixteenth century ... The Jews relatively high economic
      profile in Istanbul and other Ottoman towns in the Balkans naturally inclined the
      sultans to favor Jewish immigration into the Empire ... In the first half of the
      seventeenth century, they monopolized the collection of customs, acting as
      intermediaries between the Ottoman officials and the European traders. By 1620,
      most customs officials in the port [of Izmir]." [BENBASSA/RODRIGUE,
      1995, p. 6, 47]

Joachim Prinz notes the condition of Jews in Islamic Spain:

     "During the reign of the Moors, with but few interruptions, the Spanish Jews
     enjoyed not merely an equality of rights not accorded to Jews in other European
     countries until the French revolution; they held positions of great honor and
     distinction. There was hardly a Cabinet during the period between the eighth
     century and the Christian Reconquest which did not have a Jew serving as
     minister of finance." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 19-20]

 In Christian Spain, faced with animosity and hostility, and threats, from the local Christian populace, in the late fourteenth century the Jewish community set upon an elaborate deceit towards both survival as Jews and power.  Known as "conversos," or derisively by Christians as "Marranos" (swine), Spanish Jews converted en masse to Christianity, falsely professing the new faith for public consumption, but remaining Jews in virtually all respects in their private lives. The Jewish historian Cecil Roth notes that once the community embarked upon the ruse of conversion:
      "The social and economic progress of the recent converts and their
       descendants became phenomenally rapid. However dubious their
       sincerity [as Christians], it was now out of the question to exclude them
       from any walk of life on the ground of their creed. The Law, the
       administration, the army, the universities, the Church itself, were all
       overrun by recent converts of more or less questionable sincerity, or
       by their immediate descendants. They thronged to financial
       administration; for which they had a natural aptitude; protest being now
       impossible. They pushed their way into the municipal councils, into the
       legislature, into the judiciary. They all but dominated Spanish life ...
       Within a couple of generations ... almost every office of importance at
       [Royal] Court was occupied by Conversos and their children."
       [ROTH, p. 20-21]
"Outwardly," notes Abba Eban, "these Marranos were ... Christians; inwardly, they were Jews. Their disbelief in the dogmas of the Church was notorious ... in time, they all but dominated Spanish life ... These doubtful Christians were rightly regarded as a greater menace than avowed Jews. The population too had become enraged by the hypocrites who had gained a monopoly in important financial positions." [EBBAN, p. 189-190]
In a theme common to Jewish history, the Conversos "throughout the country ... farmed the taxes [i.e., were lessees to collect taxes]. Thus, they inevitably became identified in the popular mind with the royal oppression. The occupation was as remunerative as it was unpopular; and the vast fortunes which were rapidly accumulated added jealousy to the other grounds for dislike." [ROTH, p. 31] The Jewish fraud of conversion to Christianity was well known by the native Christian populace, and Jewish domination and exploitation eventually engendered such hostility towards them that they were expelled from Spain in 1492; ironically, in that same year the Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World "was largely a Jewish, or Marrano, [economic] enterprise." [ROTH, p. 270] Prominent Jews involved in the Columbus journey included Luis de Santangel who was chancellor of the Spanish king's "royal household," Gabriel Sanchez, "the chief treasurer of Aragon," and Juan Cabrero, "the king's chamberlain." Columbus' cartographer was Jewish (Abraham Zacuto) as was the head of Spain's naval academy (Yehuda Crescas). [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 57] "The only high official who wasn't Jewish [in the planning of the Columbus expedition]," notes M. H. Goldberg,
     "was the royal secretary -- and his wife was Jewish ... Of course, the
     involvement of Jews in Columbus's voyage does not mean that Columbus   
     himself was a Jew. But it does underscore the tendency of Jews somehow
     to be present, even if only behind the scenes, in history's most important
     events." [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 111-112]
At the time of the Columbus voyage and parallel Jewish expulsion, even King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella's Finance Minister, Don Isaac Abarbanel, was Jewish. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 52] "On board Columbus' ship," adds Joachim Prinz,
     "were many Marranos. The list that has come down to us includes Rodrigo
     Sanchez, superintendent; Dr. Marco, ship's surgeon; and Mesta Bernal, the
     physician. Luis de Torres, a Jew who had been converted [to Christianity] just
     a day before the ship sailed, served as official interpreter, and a Marrano, Rodrigo
     de Triana, was the seaman who sighted the first land." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 57]

Famous Jewish Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal explains his perceptions of the Jewish dimensions to the Christopher Columbus expedition like this:

      "Why did [Christopher] Columbus personally supervise the roll-call? So I
      began to look at the roll he called. One tenth of his crew was Jews; some of
      them, I learned later, may have been rabbis. But, even though nine-tenths of the
      crew wasn't Jewish, there was no priest aboard. Very unusual at sea! Then I
      am looking into the financing of his voyage. This business of Queen Isabella
      hocking her jewels to pay for it is all legend. With the help of Marrano [secret
      Jewish] ministers of hers, the mission was entirely financed by Jewish money
      ... I began to ask myself, ' Simon went on, 'why the Jews financed Columbus
      when all others had refused for years. Who was he and what did the Jews want from
       him? ... Not only are there a number of Jewish names, but later I learn that
      several in Columbus' crew spoke Hebrew and a couple of them may have
      been rabbis. And who was the interpreter on board? Luis de Torres, who had
      been interpreter for the Governor of Murcia, which had a large Jewish population.
      It took me two weeks to confirm that Luis de Torres had been the governor's
       interpreter of Hebrew. Now the only possible explanation of this is that Columbus
       expected to reach countries in which Jews lived and governed.' From research
      on Columbus that began around 1965, Wisenthal was convinced 'that the Jews,
       concerned about their deteriorating situation in Spain, were looking for a
      homeland, a place to flee to, where they could find a protector. And so, in
      the belief that the ten lost tribes had found refuge in 'India,' they financed the
       expedition of Columbus: a man they could trust.' Simon says Columbus was
      surely a Converso [convert from Judaism to Christianity] and quite likely a
      Marrano [a convert to Christianity who secretly remained Jewish]." [LEVY, A.,
      1993, p. 20, 21]
Upon their expulsion from Spain, many Jews emigrated to the country next door, Portugal. Within the next hundred years, despite restrictions and persecutions in the new country, "there was no stratum to which the New Christians [Conversos] did not penetrate. This was the case even more in Portugal than in Spain ... Their wealth was enormous ... They almost monopolized commerce." [ROTH, p. 76] "Some of the richest of the Portugese Marranos were able to establish branches of their enterprises in England and on the Continent, and many ventured into the New World to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities for their diversified commerical undertakings ... The wealth of these Portugese immigrants, according to figures which have come down to us, was staggering." [OPRINZ, J., 1973, p. 127]
One such Jew, Joao Miquez, son of the physician of the King of Portugal and nephew of famous bankers, eventually emigrated to Turkey, publicly renounced Christianity (choosing back the Jewish name Joseph Nasi), and rose to a lofty position in the Turkish Royal Court "so that for a time he was virtually the ruler of the Turkish Empire, then the most powerful in Europe." [ROTH, p. 203] Miquez was influential in the election of a new king in Poland, he encouraged a revolt in the Netherlands, and was influential in the Turkish seizure of Cyprus from Italy. "No Jew of his time," notes Joachim Prinz,

     "or probably of any time before the emancipation of the eighteenth century, played
      such an important role in world affairs ... His most ingenious political dealings
     concerned the Marranos [secret Jews] of the world. From his strong position
     in the powerful [Jewish] Mendes family, Joseph Nasi devised what can be called
     a specific Marrano strategy, a plan for economic and political revenge against
     those who had mistreated Marranos. The Mendes family determined that if
     a country or a town discriminated against Marranos, theywould have to pay
     for it ... the ruin of those who hated them." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 140, 141]
Racial purity and obsessive endogamy was still an issue for the Jews (Marranos) of Belmonte, Spain, even in the 1940s. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia noted that "these [people] pride themselves on being descended directly, and with no admixture of foreign blood, from the old Portuguese Jews." [UN. JEW, p. 367]
As early as 1512 Marranos began to settle in Antwerp, the most important port in northern Europe. With the rise of Amsterdam, "the Dutch Jerusalem," more Jews moved there; and Jewish entrepreneurs extended throughout the Dutch colonial world. By the eighteenth century, the immigrant Marranos in Amsterdam  -- an international trading center and enemy of Spain -- economically peaked, long since openly renewing their Jewish identities. In Amsterdam "developed the largest and most important [Jewish] community in Europe, with connections in many another Jewish settlement, and with the far flung influence in the Dutch colonies." [BLOOM, p. xiv-xv]
Jews in Amsterdam were deeply involved in a variety of economic activities, including Dutch colonialism (one quarter of the Dutch East India company's stockholders were Jewish, for instance) and the diamond and jewelry trade as a virtual Jewish monopoly. [BLOOM, p. xvii]  A common theme of non-Jewish peoples throughout Jewish history surfaced when "there was constant complaining, both at home and in the colonies, that these [Jewish] strangers were undermining the rights of native-born Dutchmen." [BLOOM, p. xvi]
In the eventual colonialist battle between the Dutch and Spain over the control of Brazil, "the war resolved itself almost into a struggle between the Spanish and Portuguese on the one hand and an alliance between the Marranos and the Dutch on the other," including a Jewish espionage network in parts of the South American country.  [ROTH, p. 285] As one traveler noted in the 17th century: "Among the free inhabitants of Brazil who were not in the Dutch West India Company service, the Jews were the most considerable in number. They had come there from Holland and built stately houses in Recife. They were all traders which were of great consequence to Dutch Brazil." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 128]
Despite their formal expulsion from Spain, small numbers of Marranos continued to live in Spain for centuries later. In 1835 a Marrano said that
      "The great part [of my wealth] is buried underground; indeed, I have
       never examined the tenth part of it. I have coins of silver and gold older
       than the times of Ferdinand and the Accursed and Jezebel; I have also
       large sums employed in usury. We keep ourselves close, howver, and
       pretend to be poor, miserably so; but, on certain occasions, at our
       festivals, when our gates are barred, and our savage dogs are let loose
       in the court, we eat food off services such as the Queen of Spain cannot
       boast of ... " [ROTH, p. 360]

Pre-Nazi Germany is yet another of the dramatic examples of the rise of Jewish economic influence and control in European countries, in this case violently ended by the Nazi destruction of German Jewry. Jews numbered at most about one per cent of the German population between 1871 and 1933, and this percentage had been steadily declining [GORDON, p. 8] but by the end of the eighteenth century, "a high proportion of the landed and liquid wealth in Prussia was in the hands of either nobles or Jews." [HERTZ, p. 36]  By 1908, 12 of the 20 richest Berliners were of Jewish ancestry, as were 11 of the 25 richest people in Prussia. [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 208] Of the top 200 Prussian millionaires, 55 were Jewish. Of the top 800, 190 were of Jewish extraction. [MOSSE, p. 30]  41% of Prussian iron and scrap iron firms, and 57% of other metal businesses were owned by Jews. [GORDON, p. 11] Although Jews in 1903 were only 0.74% of the labor force in Prussia, 27% of all Prussian lawyers were Jews, as were 10% of apprenticed lawyers, 47% of magistrates, and 30% of all higher ranks of the judiciary. [GORDON, p. 13]
By the 1930s, 46% of German Jews were self-employed. [KOTKIN, p. 43] In 1932, six million Germans were unemployed. [RUBENSTEIN, R.L., p. 117]  In the town of Sonderburg, in the Rhineland area of Germany, "of the five largest employers, two were Jewish firms; in one case, the Jewish-owned mill employed hundreds of Gentile workers -- as many as 20 percent of the working adult labor force. In a very real sense, the Gentile community depended on Jews for employment and for retail goods." [HENRY, F., p. 52]
Gentile fortunes in Germany and its environs were based in landownership and agriculture; Jewish fortunes were founded upon banking and finance. [MOSSE p. 206] In Berlin, by the eighteenth century, "the income of Jews in the middle of the Jewish tax scale would be about three times higher than the average Berliner. The middle of the Jewish tax scale would thus be approximately equal to the top ten per cent of Berlin households." [LOWENSTEIN] The average income of Jews in pre-Nazi Germany was 3.2 times higher than the rest of the population. [NIEWYK, p. 16]  "At the end of the eighteenth century 400 Jewish families formed one of the wealthiest groups in Berlin ... In Bavaria, in 1808, 80% of government loans were endorsed and negotiated by Jews." [ARENDT, p. 17] By 1914 the Jews of Berlin -- 5 per cent of that city's population -- paid over a third of its taxes [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 13] and there were "a large number of domestic servants in the two most important Jewish areas of Berlin during the 1920's." [GORDON, p. 15]
In 1923, 150 of the 161 privately-owned banks in Berlin were Jewish; [GORDON, p. 11]  "In Berlin alone," notes Jewish author Edwin Black, "about 75% of the attorneys, and nearly as many doctors, were Jewish." [BLACK, p. 58]  "All the major Berlin department stores -- Wertheim, Herman Tietz, N. Israel, KaDeWe," says Jewish author Peter Wyden, "were the properties of Jews. All the principal newspaper publishers and thirteen of the drama critics were Jews. Garment manufacturing, a major industry, was generally known to be in Jewish hands." [WYDEN, p. 21] "In Germany," says Nachum Gidal, "Jews above all developed the setting up of department stores, the manufacture and ready-made ladies and gentlemen's clothing, the tobacco, leather, and fur industries and the new film industry." [GIDAL, p. 17]
By 1823, the Bavarian government owed 23% of its public debt to Jews; as early as 1818, there was growing complaint about excessive Jewish influence in Germany. One German writer, Garlieb Merkel, noted that while the "German peoples had, in many years of political disaster lost their precious political rights and had diminished in stature, [Jews] had increased their wealth at a terrifying rate. They knew how gain equality with Christians everywhere and they zealously set about developing this equality into further privileges." "This statement of Merkel has some truth in it," says scholar Jacob Katz, "Jews had exploited, economically and socially, the new status they had achieved in the past generation." [KATZ, From, p. 94] With formal emancipation, the Jews of Berlin, complained Merkel, "now bought up every house afforded for sale in the main streets and filled the cities with their shops. The Jews had long dominated in financial deals and trade in bills. Now they led in occupations such as the book trade ... Almost all the country homes on both sides of the Tiergarten, the Berliners only place of recreation, had passed into Jewish hands ... The Jews has made their gains at the expense of other citizens." [KATZ, From, p. 94-95]
The Jewish-French intellectual, Bernard Lazare, noted in 1894 that:
      "In Germany [Jewish] activity was exceedingly great. They were at the
      bottom of legislation favourable to the carrying on of banking and
      exchange, the practice of usury and speculation. It was they who profited
      by the abolition, in 1867, of the ancient laws limiting the rate of interest.
      They were active in bringing about the enactment of the law of June
      1870, which exempted stock companies from government supervision.
      After the Franco-German War, they were among the boldest speculators,
      and at a time when German capitalists were carried away by a passion for
      the creation of industrial combinations, they acted a no less important
      part than had the Jews of France, from 1830 to 1848. Their activity
      persisted until the financial panic of 1873, when the country squires and
      the small traders who had been ruined by the excesses of this Grunder
      Periode in which the Jew had played the most important part, gave
      themselves up to the most violent anti-Semitism, such, indeed, as
      proceeds only from injured interests." [LAZARE, p. 166]
With the rise of consolidated corporations in the late 1800's and early 1900's, says W. E. Mosse, a Jewish scholar, "a picture emerges of a number of [German] companies with significant Jewish representation in the top positions, which constitutes something of a network with certain common features and common interests." [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 219] For those men with "multiple board memberships" in a variety of major companies, 18 men had more than 21 board positions each. Of these 18, 10 were Jewish. [MOSSE, p. 257] "The distribution of these Jewish board members among major companies shows a distinctive interlocking pattern." [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 253]
This typical business formulation had been evidenced in the German elite some years earlier when Jews tried to gain acceptance into Masonic lodges. Jacob Katz notes that
        "Members of the lodge were expected to communicate with each other
        on equal footing. Jews, so the complaint ran, tended to cluster together
        whenever they appeared in the lodge, creating a subgroup, a clique.
        Similar observances were made in other quarters as well. I do not think
        this accusation was a figment of their imagination with no basis in fact.
        Jewish historical experience, as well as Jewish concepts and practices,
        created a mentality functioning as a factor of cohesion among Jews and
        thereby as a barrier between them and non-Jews." [KATZ, RoGH, p. 5]
Many German Jews were known to have, at least officially, converted to Christianity. Like the Spanish Marranos, this was often merely expeditious. As the German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine observed, baptism was "the ticket of admission into German culture." [VARON, p. 10]  Heine himself, notes Nahum Goldmann, "was a very good Jew at the end of his life and [his] conversion to Christianity was only a formality." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 66]  Popular German Jewish author Emil (born Cohen) Ludwig's  "conversion to Christianity had been merely an effort to buy the respect of Germans." [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 26] "Often one submitted [to baptism]," notes Adam Weisberger, "as an opportunistic matter of convenience ... A Jewish origin was a handicap but one which baptism could remedy." [WEISBERGER, A., 1997, p. 48] (Even in America, noted James Yaffe, reflecting a theme, "Serge Koussevitzky, Eugene Ormandy, and Pierre Monteux, all Jews, had to convert to Christianity in order to reach the top of the symphony world.") [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 52]
Even among the wealthy assimilationists to German society in the Jewish communities "mixed marriages were the exception rather than the rule and the Jews continued to live a life apart. They interacted with non-Jews in their professional lives, but very seldom in private." [TRAVERSO, p. 15]  This model even parallels the wealthy German-Jewish situation in the United States in the same era: "The social solidarity [in America] was no way better exemplified and furthered than by the tendency -- common to all unified elite -- to intermarry ... [SUPPLE, p. 80] ... German-Jewish investment banking [in the U. S.]  in the late 19th century ... was ... based upon the proliferation of kinship groups ... it seems possible to say that the German-Jewish groups had a strategic role to play in the providing of capital from Germany for American industrial development." [SUPPLE, p. 84-85]  By 1937 nine of America's richest 60 families were Jewish, including the Guggenheims, Lehmans, Warburgs, Kahns, Schiffs, Blumenthals, Friedsams, Rosenwalds, and Baruchs. [GOLDSTEIN, D. p. 101] Stephen Birmingham notes that the insularity of the wealthy Jewish strata in America: "For forty-five years after its founding in 1867, Kuhn, Loeb, and Company had no partners who were not related by blood or marriage to the Loeb-Kuhn-Wolff family complex. For nearly fifty years after Goldman, Sachs was founded, all partners were members of the intermarried Goldman and Sachs family. The Lehmans hardly seemed to need intermarriage at all: until 1924, nearly 75 years after the firm was founded, all the partners were named Lehman." [BIRMINGHAM, p. 9-10]
By 1907-08 Jews had a conspicuous presence in the corporate sector of the German economy. Despite representing only one per cent of the German population, 20 per cent of the largest companies had a "substantial" Jewish involvement. A further 16 per cent had "significant' Jewish management. [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 273] Examing the very largest companies, W. E. Mosse notes that over two-thirds of such firms had a "significant Jewish component." Of the most powerful corporate organizations in Germany, only 7.7 per cent were "without some degree of Jewish participation." [MOSSE, p. 273, 274] In 1913, fifteen Jews held 211seats on boards of German banks; by 1928 this number was 718. In that same year Jews represented 80% of the leading members of the Berlin stock exchange. Five years later the Nazis expelled 85% of all stockbrokers because of "race." [GORDON, p. 12]
In the pre-World War II Weimar Republic of Germany that fell to the Nazis, 11% of Germany's doctors were Jews, and 16% of its lawyers. [MOSSE, p. 26] By 1909-10, about one-fourth of the teachers at German universities were of Jewish descent. [GORDON, p. 13]   As elsewhere, an expediential prerequisite for advancement was at least superficial conversion to Christianity. "Those who were baptized," says Nachum Gidal, "were then eligible to be appointed to professional chairs." [GIDAL, p. 17] "In the spring of 1933," notes Anthony Heilbut, "Hitler shocked the world by dismissing from their jobs the titans of German scholarship, the vast majority of whom were Jewish." [HEILBUT, p. 23]   (Adolf Hitler's family doctor had been Jewish. Hitler's sister was even once employed by the Mensa Academica Judaica in Vienna. Hitler was awarded a medal of honor for his deeds in Wold War I; the award was reportedly expedited by a Jewish army officer, Hugo Gutmann.) [GOLDBERG, M., 1976, p. 38-39]
Almost 80% of department and chain store business in pre-war Germany were Jewish, 40% of wholesale textile firms, and 60% of the wholesale and retail clothing business. By 1895, 56% of German Jews were involved in commerce; correspondingly, only 10% of non-Jewish Germans were in this field. [TRAVERSO, p.15]  By the 1930s, Jews controlled 90% of the world's fur trade, reflected in an important yearly auction in Leipzig. [BLACK, p. 131] "Jews were also important in the wholesale metal business and retail grocery business."  In Upper Silesia more than half of the local industry -- coal, iron, steel, petroleum, et al -- was owned or directed by Jews before 1933. [NIEWYK, p. 13-14] "The coal and iron industry of Upper Silesia," says Sidney Osborne, "-- the second largest in Germany -- was almost the exclusive creation of a handful of Jews." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18]
This area included the Jewish-owned iron company owned by Mortiz Friedlander, Sinai Levy and David Lowenfeld; the "well-known iron and steel works, Bismarkshutte" which was founded by two Jewish merchants; an "extensive iron pipe and tube works" owned by Mortiz Hahn and Simon Huldschinsky; the Upper Silesian Iron Industry (with branches Tubenhutte and Baildonhutte); "one of the largest enamel works" in Germany; Ferrum, and iron and steel firm; the Upper Silesian Zinc Foundries company; the "coke-oven industry Gluckauf; the Upper Silesian Coke and Chemical Works; and coal mining (Otto Friedlander). [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18] "Other important industries in Jewish hands," adds Sidney Osborne,
     "were leather, textiles, and cigarette factories, the Portland cement and
     lime industry, and important iron and lumber interests. This account
     of Jewish enterprise in Upper Silesia is given with some particularity
     because it was more or less typical of what was going on in other
     industrial regions of Germany." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 19]
"The Hirsch copper works in Halberstadt ...," notes Nachum Gidal, "[became] the most important copper and brass works in Europe. The works was still owned by the Orthodox family until 1933. In the basic materials industry, Fritz von Friedlander-Fuld (1858-1917) was outstanding with his Silesian enterprises ... [comprising] a group of major firms. Friedlander-Fuld was responsible for building up the coke industry in Germany ... Closely linked with the coke industry was the petroleum industry, led by general director M. Melamid ... The founder of the Silesian iron industry (Caro-Hegenschedt) was George von Caro ... His brother Oskar Caro ... is regarded as the founder of the German enamel industry. Mortiz von der Porten  ... spearheaded the aluminum sector in Germany." [GIDAL, p. 266] Wilhelm Von Gutmann's Gebruder Gutmann Industries "was the largest single factor in the coal industry of the Austro-Hungarian empire." [GREENBERG, M., p. 70] Philip Rosenthal founded "the most famous porcelain factory in Selb in Bavaria." [GIDAL, p. 267]  Albert Balin "played an outstanding part in the building up of the German merchant fleet ... Under his guidance [the Hamburg-America line] developed into Europe's leading shipping company." Walter Rathenau was president of the "Siemens works, the largest electricity company in Germany." [GIDAL, p. 266-268]
In the 1930s, notes Ian Kershaw, during Nazi efforts to politicize the German peasants against Jews in the Alzenau district,
     "Jewish-owned cigar factories dominated local industry ... Jews in fact
     owned most of the twenty-nine factories, with a combined work force
     of 2,206 women and 280 men ... In the countryside ... the main issue
     was the remaining dominance in many areas of the Jewish cattle
     dealer, the traditional middle-man and purveyor of credit for untold
     numbers of German peasants ... [As late as 1935,] the wholesale
     cattle trade in Ebermannstadt was ... still 'to a good ninety percent'
     in Jewish hands." [KERSHAW, p. 241-242]
Jews were likewise dramatically over-represented in every sphere of academic enterprise, from philosophy to science. "Jews were also the most influential critics of drama, art, music, and books as well as the owners of the most important art galleries and theatres." [GOLDBERG, p. 26] In the Berlin of 1930, 80% of the theatre directors were Jewish and they authored 75% of the produced plays. [MACDONALD, p. 125] Many prominent actors, actresses, and moviemakers were Jewish. Some Jewish scholars, like Walter Laquer, have even went so far as to claim that without Jewish influence the culture of the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic "would not have existed." [TRAVERSO, p. 12] "Jews," says Laqueur, "were prominent among Expressionist poets, among the novelists of the 1920's, among the theatrical producers and, for a while, among the leading figures of cinema." [LAQUER, p. 73]  "Jewish names," notes Nachum Gidal, "were numerous among the pioneers of film and the film industry," [GIDAL, p. 370] including Paul Davidson and Herman Fellner who founded "the first German film company." [GIDAL, p. 370]

Frederick Grunfeld romanticizes the Jewish road from an economic base to enormous influence upon German popular culture:

     "The shoe-factory generation regularly produced and nurtured a brood of
     scribes, artists, intellectuals. Else Lasker-Schuler was the daughter of an
     investment banker, Carl Sternheim the son of a banker and newspaper
     publisher, Walter Benjaim of an antique dealer, Alfred Neumann of a lumber
     merchant, Stefan Zweig of a textile manufacturer, Franz Kafka of a
     haberdashery wholesaler, Herman Bloch of a cotton-mill owner; Theodore
     Lessing and Walter Hasenclver were sons of doctors and grandsons of
     manufacturers, and so on, in an orderly and predictable procession from
     the department store into the library, the theatre and the concert hall. " [GRUNFELD,
     F., 1996, p. 28-29]

Most of the members of the famously influential "Frankfurt School" of politics, philosophy, and culture were also Jewish -- Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Friedrich Pollock, and many others. Frederick Grunfeld argues that these people did not really experience anti-Semitism in pre-Nazi Germany. Why? "All of these privileged witnesses ... came from well-to-do families of the upper middle class, for whom money had always been a talisman against the cruder forms of prejudice." [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 17]

Although such people were from affluent families, socialism and communism were often the worldviews they championed. "What today we are apt to call Weimar culture," notes Jewish scholar Werner Mosse, "was largely the creation of left-wing intellectuals, among whom there was such a disproportionate number of Jews that Weimar culture has been called, somewhat snidely, an internal Jewish dialogue." [MOSSE, W., 1985, p. 22]  "In twentieth century Germany where the Jews formed less than one percent of the nation's population," observes Istvan Deak,
      "Jews were responsible for a great part of German culture. The
      owners of three of Germany's greatest newspaper houses; the editors
      of the Vossiche Zeitung and Berliner Tagleblatt; most book publishers;
      the owners and editors of the Neue Rundschau and other distinguished
      literary magazines; the owners of Germany's greatest art galleries were
      all Jews. Jews played a major part in theatre and in the film industry as
      producers, directors, and actors. Many of Germany's best composers,
      musicians, artists, sculptors, and architects were Jews. Their
      participation in literary criticism and in literature were enormous:
      practically all the great critics and many novelists, poets, dramatists,
      and essayists of the Weimer Republic were Jews ... If cultural
      contributions by Jews were far out of proportion to their numerical
      strength, their participation in left-wing intellectual activities were
      even more disproportionate." [DEAK, p. 28]
By the 1920s German critics like Theodore Fritsch, Hans Blucher, and Adolf Bartel were influential in the growing German complaint that German culture was dominated by Jews. [TRAVERSO]  A German Jew, Moritz Goldstein, had poured fuel on the issue of Jewish dominance by writing a much-discussed article in 1913 in which he wrote that Jews essentially ran German culture, from an almost complete monopoly of Berlin newspapers and dominance of German theatre, music, and literature. [LAQUER, p. 74]  "German cultural life seems to be passing increasingly into Jewish hands," Goldstein wrote, "... We Jews are administering the spiritual property of a nation which denies us our right and our ability to do so." [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 21] Even in the nineteenth century the German composer, and nationalist, Richard Wagner, was horrified to realize the large number of Jews in his audiences, as well as in the receptions for him afterward. [TRAVERSO, p. 12]
Although Jews, as 1% of the German population, represented a negligible electoral power, by the early twentieth century their economic and social impact was considerable in the political sphere.  Jewish-funded lawyers, for instance, were instrumental in securing fines against, or jail terms, for right wing politicians, often for disorderly conduct charges or libel.  [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 27] Even "the police commissioner of Berlin during part of the period of Nazi agitation for power was a Jew, Dr. Bernhard Weiss." [GOLDBERG, M. H. 1979, p. 121] "In 1933," says Anthony Heilbut, "[Jews] were only five hundred thousand of Germany's sixty-four million people, and one-third of these lived in Berlin. Jews had infiltrated many areas of German life, particularly the media, through the newspapers they owned and edited, as well as the movies they wrote and produced." [HEILBUT, p. 25] Before World War I, two of the most important German newspapers -- the National-Zeitung of Berlin and the Franfurter Zeitung -- were owned and edited by Jews. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 25]  13 of 21 daily newspapers in Berlin in the 1870's were Jewish-owned, among them the only three that focused on political satire. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 25] In the pre-Nazi era of the Weimar Republic, three of Germany’s important newspapers were Jewish-owned -- the Vossiche Zeitung, the Berliner Tageblatt (founded in 1872 by Rudolf Mosse and Georg Davidsohn) and the Frankfurter Zeitung (Heinrich Simon/Leopold Sonnemann). (The eventual president of the World Zionist Organization, Nahum Goldmann, began writing for the Frankfurt paper when he was 15 years old). [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 16] The newspapers Grenzboten and Ostdeutsche Post were also owned by a Jewish media mogul, Ignaz Kuranda. [ROTH, C., 1940, p. 142] The two largest publishing houses in Germany  -- the Ullstein, and Mosse companies -- were also owned by Jews, as were a number of smaller ones. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 26]  Rudolf Mosse, the founder of the Mosse company, and a colleague also began "building up an advertising bureau which soon overtook the former leaders, the English advertising agencies, and had 275 branches worldwide." [GIDAL, p. 272] In the late 1800s Leopold Ullstein "launched the Berliner Morgenpost, which built up a circulation of six hundred thousand, the largest in Germany, but perhaps his most dramatic breakthrough came with the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung which by 1894 had a circulation of two milion ... Ullstein had five sons, all of whom developed different branches of his enterprise. By the 'thirties they were not only the biggest newspaper group in Germany, but they also published books, magazines, dress patterns and music. They also had their own news agency, picture service, film studio and even a zoo to serve their children's papers." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 70]
The Jewish-owned Landhoffs book publishing firm was also a "book trade dynasty," [LOTTMAN, p. 51] as was the Springers company. "Not just the principals of the [Springers] firm," notes Business History, "but many of the distinguished scientists among their authors and editors were Jewish.' [SHAW, C., p. 214] Leading "avante garde" publishing firms included the Jewish houses of S. Fischer, Kurt Wolff, Georg Bondi, Erich Reiss, and the Malik Verlag. [LAQUER, p. 73] "Bote and Bote was Germany's largest music publisher and ran a concert agency as well ... Both Rutter and Loening in Frankfurt am Main and the Deutsche Verlegsantalt in Stuttgart were founded by Jews, as were the later publishing houses of Erich, Reiss, Brandus, and a number of specialist presses." [GIDAL, p. 35]
With the rise of German fascism, in 1933 a retired United States Department official, Edward House, told a new ambassador to Berlin: "You should try to ameliorate Jewish suffering. [The Nazis] are clearly wrong and even terrible, but the Jews should not be allowed to dominate economic or intellectual life in Berlin as they have for a long time." [GROSE, p. 97-98]  Anthony Heilbut notes a joke that was a favorite of Albert Einstein's, "in which an émigré asks a friend if he is homesick for Berlin, and the other replies: 'What for? I'm not Jewish.'" [HEILBUT, p. 46]
Jews were also vastly over represented as editors and reporters in German journalism. "Unfortunately," says Sarah Gordon, "many of them tended to use their works as vehicles to oppose or criticize prevalent German values." [GORDON, p. 14] Among these critics of German society was Kurt Tucholsky, "whose biting satire made him a hero of the more cosmopolitan segments of the German middle class. The son a successful Jewish businessman-lawyer, Tucholsky flayed Germans and German values mercilessly. By the late 1920s, he had decided that Germany was hopeless and that middle-class Germans were either idiots or positively evil." [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 85]  Germans, assessed prominent Jewish pianist Arthur Rubinstein in the 1930s, "are not a musical people. They accept the heavy, pedantic music of Pfitzner, Reger and Bruckner with their long-winded 'developments,' just as they enjoy a stodgy meal of sauerkraut and sausages." [SACHS, D., 1992, p. 21]

On one hand, Jews were increasingly perceived to have strangleholds on the German social, cultural and economic system. On the other, in the political field, Richard Rubenstein notes that
       "Marxism was seen by conservative Europe as Jewish in origin
       and leadership, a view that was reinforced in Germany by the
       three successive left wing regimes that succeeded the Bavarian
       royal house of Wittelsbach from November 7, 1918 to May 1,
       1919, at the end of World War I. In Munich, the city that did
       more than any other to give birth to [Hitler's] National Socialism,
       and in the era in which Hitler first joined the miniscule party, a
       series of politically naive, left-wing Jewish leaders attempted
       ineffectually to bring about an enduring socialist revolution
       in Catholic, conservative Bavaria." [RUBENSTEIN, p. 113]

"As Robert Michel pointed out in his classic Political Parties," note Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter,

       "Jews at that time [late 1800s] were playing a key role in socialist
       parties in almost every European country in which they had
       settled in any numbers." [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 84]

In Germany, thse inlcuded Daniel deLeon, a Sephardic Jew who headed the Socialist Labor Party. DeLeon "attempted to conceal his Jewish background, pretending that he was descended from an aristocratic family of Catholic background." [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 95]
At the influential Die Weltbuhne left-wing intellectual journal in pre-Hitler Germany, 42 of 68 writers "whose identity could be established" were found to be of Jewish descent. Two more were "half-Jews" and three others were married to Jewish women. But, notes Isak Deak, "only a few of the Weltbuhne circle openly acknowledged that they were Jews ... Die Weltbuhne was in this respect not unique; Jews published, edited, and to a great part wrote the other left-wing intellectual magazines ... Jews created the left-wing intellectual movement in Germany." [DEAK, p. 24-25, 29]
In increasing political turmoil between World Wars I and II, and amidst the rise of Nazism and a growing perception that the communist movement would destroy tradition German culture and values, left-leaning Jewish politicians who were assassinated included Bavarian premiere Kurt Eisner, Eugen Levin (the chairman of the Executive Assembly of the Second Munich Soviet Republic), and German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau.

The actual origin of the term "anti-Semitism" is credited to German author Wilhelm Marr who wrote, in 1879, a book entitled The Victory of Judaism Over Germany. Here is a brief excerpt, as he agitated about so much Jewish dominance in the life of German society::

     "There is no stopping them ... Are there no clear signs that the twilight of the
      Jews is setting in? No. Jewry's control of society and politics, as well as its
      practical domination of the religious and ecclestical thought, is still in the prime
      of its development, heading toward the realization of Jehovah's promise, 'I will
      hand all peoples over to thee.' By now, a sudden reversal of this process is
       fundamentally impossible, for if it were, the entire social structure, which has
      been so thoroughly Judaized, would collapse. And there is no viable alternative
      to this social structure which could take its place. Further, we cannot count on
      the help of the 'Christian' state. The Jews are the 'best citizens' of this modern,
       Christian state, as it is in perfect harmony with their interests ... It is not a
      pretentious prophecy but the deepest inner conviction which I here utter. Your
       generation will not pass before there will be absolutely no public office, even the
       highest one, which the Jews will not have usurped. Yes, through the Jewish nation,
       Germany will become a world power, a western New Palestine. And this will happen,
       not through violent revolutions, but through the compliance of the people ...
      German culture has proved itself ineffective and powerless against this foreign
      power. This is a fact; a brute inexorable fact. State, Church, Catholicism,
       Protestantism, Creed and Dogma, all are brought low before the Jewish tribunal, that
      is, the [irreverent] daily press [which the Jews control]. [Text in brackets inserted by
       Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz, presumably from the context of the rest of the original
       Marr work] The Jews were late in their assault on Germany, but once they started there
       was no stopping them." [MENDES-FOHR/REINHARZ, 1980, p. 271-273]

In nearby Austria, major newspapers like Neue Freie Presse ("the most prestigious newspaper in Central Europe") and Wiener Tagblatt were likewise Jewish-owned. "In German-speaking Europe," says Jacques Kornberg, "the term 'journalism' and 'Jews' went together in people's minds." And, adds Kornberg, since Jews had a reputation for "shady business practices" and "journalistic corruption," notions of "anti-Semitism and anti-journalism always went hand in hand." [KORNBERG; ROTH, C., 1940, p. 142]
In Vienna, Austria, by 1910, 62% of the lawyers were Jewish, 51% of the doctors and dentists, and 70% of those in scientific occupations. [TRAVERSO, p. 15] A large proportion of the rest of Viennese Jews, 40%, were merchants. A Jewish writer from Berlin, Jakob Wasserman, in visiting Vienna in 1898, remarked that
     "I soon realized that the whole of public life was dominated by Jews...
      I was amazed to see such a crowd of Jewish physicians, lawyers,
      clubs men, snobs, dandies, proletarians, actors, journalists, and poets."
      [TRAVERSO, p. 28]
Jewish author Stephan Zweig claimed that nine-tenths of Viennese culture was "promoted, nourished, or even created by Viennese Jewry." [TRAVERSO, p. 28]  "The crowding of Jewish sons of well-to-do parents into the cultural occupations was especially marked in Germany and Austria," notes Hannah Arendt, "where a great proportion of cultural institutions, like newspapers, publishing, music, and theatre, became Jewish institutions." [ARENDT, Origins, p. 52]  In the late nineteenth century, says Albert Lindemann, "that the non-Jews [of Vienna] had a sense of being overwhelmed by a Jewish invasion is ... easy to understand, particularly because Jews tended to choose certain occupations from which non-Jews were often consequently thrown out ... Nearly all the banks in the capital, and indeed in the Dual Monarchy as a whole, were owned by Jews as were many of the most important newspapers, especially those of mass circulation." [LINDEMANN, p. 25] "Antisemitism," once observed Arthur Schnitzler, "became popular in Vienna ony when the Jews themselves took it up." [LEVY, A., 1993,p. 346]
This pattern existed not only in Germany and Austria, but in Western Europe and other parts of the world as well. "Between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War, Paris was a major international banking and financial center, and Jews were among the dominant figures in French finance. In the late nineteenth century, roughly one-third of all Paris bankers were Jews."  [p. 20] Although Jews only numbered 60,000-80,000 people in France in 1880, they had joined the "inner circle of banking elite in the mid-nineteenth century ... many observers... viewed the French bankers and the financial sector of the middle class as ... running the country." [RUBENSTEIN, p. 33] "The Jews [in France]," says Michael Marrus, "had, in less than a century, worked their way into all layers of French society. The rapidity of this advance is particularly striking." [MARRUS, p. 35]  "In France," wrote Bernard Lazare, "under the Restoration and the July Monarchy, [Jews] stood at the head of the financial and industrial enterprise, and were among the founders of the great canals, railways, and insurance companies." [LAZARE, p. 166] "There is no denying," says Arnold Mayer, "that [by 1940] in France Jews occupied pivotal and exposed positions in government as well as in mass movements of the left." [MAYER, p. 49] Such "pivotal positions" included the Jewish prime minister of France, Leon Blum.  "Blum," notes Mayer, "quite artlessly chose two Jews, Andre Blumel and Jules Moch, to be close assistants. His two cabinets also included not a few ministers and under secretaries of Jewish origin." [MAYER, p. 48] (Even in the cultural sphere,  "perhaps the most celebrated art salon in French society was owned by Madame Arman de Caillavet, daughter of a wealthy Jewish banker from Austria." [MARRUS, p. 39] )
Much earlier, prior to their mass expulsion from France, the historian Rigord (1150-1207) claimed that by the twelfth century Jews "had acquired half of Paris" and that "a great number of Christians had even been expropriated by the [usurious] Jews because of debts." [LEON, p. 146] Even Pope Innocent II complained to the King of France in this era that Jews were gaining possession of Church properties, lands, and vineyards. [LEON, p. 147]
By the late nineteenth century, there was talk amongst prominent Jews in France about themselves as a superior people with a "right to rule" others. "There were certain magistrates," wrote a well-known French Jewish intellectual, Julien Benda, "financiers rather than literary men, with whom the belief of superiority of their race and the natural subjugation of those who did not belong to it, were visibly sovereign." [LINDEMANN, p. 69]
In the same era, even the novelist Emile Zola, hero of French Jews for his activism in their support in the so-called Dreyfuss Affair (where a Jew was framed for espionage), was concerned in his writings about the conspiratorial implications of Jewish economic endeavors. "That such a man," says Albert Lindemann, "shared the widespread apprehensions of the period about the rise of Jewish power, particularly in the form of money, suggests how much that sort of anti-Jewish hostility cut across the political spectrum." [LINDEMANN, p. 70]
Even the famed leftist, Fredrich Engels, who had praised Jewish activism in the socialist movement, said, "I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and German names intrude themselves everywhere." [LINDEMANN, p. 70]
The pattern of spectacular Jewish economic influence and prominence throughout their Diaspora is not uncommon. On the contrary. According to Australia's Business Review Weekly's 1986 'Rich List,' 25% of the 200 wealthiest people in Australia were Jews. [RUTLAND, p. 260] This is phenomenal since Jews consist of half a per cent of that country's population. As usual, the community was sticking together. 1961, 1966, and 1971 censuses found that 85-88% of Australian Jewish men and 90-94% of Jewish women were married to fellow Jews. In a more recent survey, a "large percentage" of mixed marriage partners (i.e., non-Jews) convert to Judaism and often the children are raised as Jews. [RUTLAND, p. 293] Taking advantage of the increased ethnic pluralization of Australian society, by the late 1980's, says Suzanne Rutland, there has been a "re-Judaization" of Australian Jewry. [RUTLAND, p. 294]
In New Zealand, Jewish entrepreneur "Sir Wolf Fisher and several Jewish colleagues pioneered the national steel mills, its brewing and hotel industries." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 171]
In South Africa, "nowhere in the world have Jews slipped so quickly into a life of economic ease as here." [LITVINOFF, p. 192]  "The marketing of diamonds," says Mendel Kaplan, "at the outset through individual dealers and later through the big diamond syndicates, was largely handled by Jews ... the best of them ... afterwards made their mark in the gold industry." [KAPLAN, p. 356]   Edmond de Rothschild had a significant investment in his predecessor in the South African diamond trade, Cecil Rhodes. By 1770 Jews controlled four-fifths of all diamonds imported from India and "over the years Jews have taken leading positions at De Beers, which today controls roughly four-fifths of the world's output of unpolished diamonds." [KOTKIN, p. 53]  (The modern polished diamond trade is largely located in the Jewish state).  Beneficiaries of apartheid, "South African Jews," says African-American professor Tony Martin, "were the world's richest community and have become the world's highest per capita contributors to Israel." [MARTIN, p. 74]  Ernest Oppenheimer, who became one of the richest men in the world, is called by Louis Hotz "one of the chief architects of modern South Africa's economy." [FELDBERG, p. 57]  Representing about 4% of the "white population," "there is hardly a branch of South African industry in which Jewish men of enterprise and initiative have not had some part." [FELDBERG,  p. 63] "The white status of the Jew [in apartheid South Africa]," says Milton Shain, "was never seriously questioned or threatened ... The Anglo-German Jewish establishment enjoyed privilege, power, authority, and even acclaim from earliest times, and the upward mobility of the Eastern European Jew was patently obvious. The pariah was indeed transformed into the parvenu."
"In South Africa," diplomatically noted South African civil rights activists Desmund Tutu to a Jewish interviewer, "Jews in their success, especially as industrialists and business people and as traders would be seen as people who have benefited from the exploitation of Blacks, because the South African system is a capitalist system which has tended to favor the strong and successful ... [HOFFMAN, p. 14] think there is a perception [among many South African Blacks] that Jews are not entirely innocent. Most of us oppose capitalism, because what we have experienced of capitalism tends to favor the privileged and the strong and [it] seems to be exploitive." [HOFFMAN, p. 14]
In Belgium, Jews dominate an estimated 80% of the Antwerp diamond trade. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 47] Most of these are ultra-Orthodox Hassids. "If [Antwerp's] Jews maintain little contact with Antwerp's Gentile majority,” notes Howard Sachar,
     "their segregation is self-imposed, particularly by the Orthodox
     establishment. What contact would they wish, anyway, with the non-
     Jewish world? Their business activities are confirmed almost exclusively
     to an industry they themselves monopolize." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 48]
In Canada, while comprising under 1% of the national population, by 1981 "both Jewish men and Jewish women tend to be concentrated at the top of the occupational hierarchy. Thus, Jewish men are about 4.5 times more likely than all men in Canada to be in a medical profession; 4.1 times more likely to have a social science job ... Jews were 5.3 times more likely than all Canadians to earn very high incomes ($50,000 plus per year) and had "the highest average incomes of any ethnic group in Canada." [p. 26-28] In a 1986 Toronto Life list of the most influential people in Toronto, "almost one in four was Jewish." [TROPER, p. 40]

In today's Russian, with the fall of communism, a Jewish capitalist "oligarchy" is known to control between 50-80 percent of Russia's wealth.
As Jewish scholar Betsy Gidwitz noted in 1999:

     "That Jews control a disproportionately large share of the Russian economy
      and Russian media certainly has some basis in fact. Between 50 and 80 percent
      of the Russian economy is said to be in Jewish hands, with the influence of the
      five Jews among the eight individuals commonly referred to as "oligarchs" particularly
      conspicuous. (An oligarch is understood to be a member of a small group that
      exercises control in a government. The five oligarchs of Jewish descent are Boris
       Berezovsky, Mikhail Friedman, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and
      Alexander Smolensky. The other oligarchs are Vagit Alekperov, Vladimir Potanin,
      and Rem Vyakhirev.) Perhaps the most famous (and simultaneously the most infamous)
      of the oligarchs is Boris Berezovsky. In common with most of the other Jewish
      oligarchs, Berezovsky controls industries in three critical areas: the extraction and
      sale of a major natural resource, such as oil, as a source of great wealth; a large
      bank (useful in influencing industry and transferring assets abroad); and several
      major media outlets (useful for exerting influence and attacking rivals). He also
      controls a significant share of the Aeroflot airline and the Moscow automobile
      industry." [GIDWITZ, B., 9-15-99]
A 1999 Wall Street Journal editorial notes that disturbing situation in today's Russia:
      "Russia's oligarchs -- many of them apparatchiks from the communist
      days -- have stripped the country's best assets and transferred their
      winnings to off-shore companies they control ... For every dollar
      a Russian has laundered abroad there had to be a counterparty at
      the other end. London, Geneva, and New York are preferred
      destinations, as well as off-shore havens such as Cyprus and
      New Jersey. Estimates of $10 billion capital flight from Russia
      each year are probably conservative." [W S J, 8-30-99, p. 8]
      [For a fuller story of Jewish Russian dominance in today's Russia, including its
     "Russian mafia" dimensions, see the Mass Media 2 section].
Across the world, in Panama, by the 1980s, under the dictatorship of Manuel Noreiga, "the Jewish community as a whole, many of whose ancestors had arrived as Syrian traders at the turn of the century, was exceedingly rich. A spiritual leader of the community, Rabbi Zion Levy, warned them on more than one occasion at the Jewish Club in Panama City that their excesses could endanger their interests. The six-thousand-strong Jewish community owned the largest businesses in the Avanida Center, Via Espana, and Sona Libre. They lived in the expensive neighborhoods of Punta Paitia and San Francisco." [COCKBURN, p. 251] "Maybe it's not nice to say," a Jewish merchant told a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharanot, "but our situation with Noreiga was wonderful." [COCKBURN, p. 251]  In fact, noted Joel Kotkin in 1993, "in virtually every society where Jews are represented in any significant numbers -- from the Americas to South Africa to Europe -- [Jewish] levels of educational achievement and occupational and economic status remain far above the national averages." [KOTKIN, p. 20]
Nicaragua? In 1986 the Associated Press noted that "Rabbi Balfour Brickner of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, who went to Nicaragua on a fact-finding mission in 1984, said most of Nicaragua's handful of pre- [Sandanista] revolution Jews had close ties to the [former] dictator, Anastasio Somoza, and left of their own accord." From a peak of about 150 families, fleeing the country with the fall of the dictator, there was then probably remaining "not more than five." [NOKES, R., 3-20-86]
Honduras? "Sam the Banana Man" Zemurray, a Bessarabian Jewish immigrant, made millions of dollars in his Cuyamel Fruit company, and by the 1930s was "the major shareholder in the largest banana company in Central America" (United Fruit -- later called United Brands). Zemurray owned "300,000 shares of UFCO stock, valued at $30 million, a fortune placing him among the nation's monied elite" and he was "the man who would run tropical America's most powerful and far-flung transnational company for the next twenty-five years." "Some may argue...," wrote scholars Lester Langley and Thomas Schoonover in 1995,
      "that Zemurray had shaped United Fruit in the twenty years after
      his dramatic takeover and, further, that his 'style' in establishing his
      own company earlier in the century involved bribery and the subsidizing
      of revolution to overthrow a legitimate government in order to place
      someone more favorable to his interests in the executive office.
      Unarguably, he stands guilty of this charge -- as does the U.S.
      government in its dealings with the isthmian governments in this
      century." [LANGLEY/SCHOONOVER, p. 171]
"As a foreign corporation of conspicuous size," notes the New Encyclopedia Brittanica, "United Fruit sometimes became the target of popular attacks. The Latin-American press often referred to it as el pulpo ("the octopus") in the first decades of the twentieth century." [NEW ENCY BRITT, 1993, 12, p. 140]
In 1975, Eli Black, by then another Jewish head of the same corporate conglomerate, committed suicide when it was revealed that he was bribing Honduran officials to get lower banana export taxes. "'Bananagate,'" noted Langley and Schoonover, "was yet another episode in the sordid record of the United States and, particularly, of United Fruit of Central America." [LANGLEY/SCHOONOVER, p. 171]
In Costa Rica, the Jewish community built their economic power in clothing manufacture and sales. By 1978, as .08% of that country's population, "Jews were 1.6% of its medical doctors, 2% of its architects, 1.2% of its civil engineers ... Jewish men and women of letters have occupied leading positions [in universities] since the early 1970s." [GUDMUNDSON, p. 229]  "To be sure," noted Lowel Gudmundson in 1987, "wealth in general -- and Jewish wealth in particular -- invites criticism in Costa Rica, " [GUDMUNDSON, p. 230] as it did in 1951-52 when there were demonstrations against Jewish commercial activities. An eventual Costa Rican president complained in 1946:
      "You [the Jews] should not be irritated by the complaints of Costa
      Ricans; you have left them without homes to live in; you are taking from
      them one of the few prosperous activities of the present day; you do not
      invest, nor produce; you try to create monopolies in some areas of
      commerce." [GUDMUNDSON, p. 226-227]
In Colombia, Ernesto Corescos, a Jewish entrepreneur, founded the Colombian airline (totally called Avianca). [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 267] In Venezuela, Jewish "Marrano" refugees from Portugal "intermarried and were numbered eventually among Venezuela's most aristocratic families." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 266] By the mid-1980s, among the 17,000 Venezuelan Jews (living mostly in Caracas) were 350 factory-owners. Also, notes Howard Sachar, about recent Jewish immigrants there since World War II, "by now, their children occupy important positions in the professions, and notably as faculty members of the National University of Caracas." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 266]    
In Mexico, notes Judith Elkin,
      "In a 1994 study of the Jewish community of Mexico, 52.6 percent
      of employed Jews identified themselves as 'directors, managers or
      administrators,' while another 26.7 percent identified themselves as
      'professionals.' The rate of upward social mobility was astonishing,
      considering that the community was barely 70 years old ...
      Professionalization demarcates the occupational pattern of male and
      female Jewish workers from that of the majority population." [ELKIN,
      1998, p. 154]
Robert Levine adds that
       "Affluent Mexican Jews, conscious of not 'feeling' Mexican and of being
        considered foreigners, now travel to Houston and Los Angeles to buy
        their clothes and to seek medical treatment. As a result, they contribute
        to the persistence of the stereotype of themselves as outsiders. Poorer
        Mexican Jews mixed more with non-Jews, but economic improvement
        is generally accompanied by a narrowing of extra group contacts until,
        at the top of the economic pyramid, virtually all contacts are with other
        Jews." [LEVINE, Adoptive, p. 77]
"The relatively small Jewish community [of Mexico]," notes Judith Elkin, "with its accumulated experiences, skills and enterprises, can be said to have served as a catalytic agent in the economic life of Mexico." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 145] In 2000, the Jerusalem Report also noted:

     "The Jewish community [in Mexico] keeps a low profile partly because
     several of its members have been kidnapped. 'Jews have been targeted
     perhaps because they are viewed as wealthy,' says one member of
     the Jewish community who would not give a name for publication."
      [DE LOPEZ, R., 11-29-00, p. 5]
In Argentina, according to a national census, as early as 1960, "most Argentine Jewish males were employers or self-employed ... 37 percent were in commerce, 22 percent in industry, and 10 percent were executives and managers ... Jews are concentrated in white-collar occupations." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 150]  By 1970, half of the 242 credit unions in the country were owned or partly owned by Jews. The credit union system collapsed, however, noted Judith Elkin, because of
      "inflation and high interest rates [which] enriched the credit unions
      beyond the capability of some directors to manage their funds prudently.
      Swollen coffers attracted speculators, who operated on both sides of the
      law and invested too heavily in construction ... Fraud in the management
      of the credit unions led to their widespread bankruptcy. Their collapse
      took down with them hundreds of thousands of small depositors ...
      Perhaps the worse damage was the revival of ancient antipathies to
      Jewish 'money changers.'" [ELKIN, 1998, p. 165]

Although "over the decades" the Jews of Argentina "established themselves as one of the nation's most affluent communities," with the controversial collapse of two Jewish-owned banks under charges of corruption, $28 million in Jewish "communal assets were lost overnight." [JORDAN, M., 6-28-01]
Among the prominent Jews of Argentina is the Wertheim family, owners of Banco Mercantil Argentino, ISA Fabrica ("the largest woolen mill in Latin America"), Argentina's "biggest television manufacturer," as well as companies involved in fruit, fashion and cattle. A Zionist activist, Julio Wertheim has also invested in Israeli companies. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 286-288]
In Brazil, "highly literate and well-versed in business affairs, [Jews] were in the forefront of Brazil's remarkable [post-World War II] economic take-off." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 256] The Klabin and Lafer company, for example, became "the largest newsprint producer in Latin America." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 146]  Then there is Leon Feffer. "By 1950 [Feffer's] company," notes Jewish historian Howard Sachar,
     "was the largest manufacturer of quality paper in Brazil. At this point,
      he might have followed the example of the Klabins, East European
      Jews whose firm was the largest manufacturer of paper products in
      Latin America ... [By 1985] not less than 70 million trees are growing
      in Feffer-owned forests, and 10,000 men are working there. Another
      3,000 employees labor in Feffer's huge integrated pulp-and-paper
      factory and 1,3000 in three smaller factories ... [He is] the largest
      integrated pulp, paper and board operator in Latin America ... [His
      company has a] domination of the Brazilian market." [SACHAR, H.,
      1985, p. 257-258]
Henrique Rattner notes that
      "Jews have situated themselves in the upper ranks of society in terms of
       income per capita, educational achievement, life-style, and political
       identification ... [RATTNER, p. 187] ... Based upon available data, we
       may conclude that about two-thirds of the Jewish community of Brazil
       belong (in terms of income, occupation, educational level, and
       consumptive patterns) to the upper strata of Brazil's stratification
       system. Studies of income distribution in Brazil show a clear trend
       toward the concentration of income in the hands of the upper 5% of
       the population ... [RATTNER, p. 193] ... It can be assumed that two-
       thirds of Brazilian Jews belong to the elite who control nearly half of the
       total personal income and of the country's wealth where nearly half of
       the population at-large live at a subsistence level." [RATTNER, p. 195]
By 1968, only 0.3 percent of Jews in Brazil had manual labor jobs. "By comparison ... the vast majority [of non-Jews worked] in agriculture and manual labor." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 152]
And what of the common Jewish Brazilian perception of their place in the social pyramid? "A felling of uneasiness and insecurity," suggests Rattner, "leads to possible ambivalence in the attitudes and behavior of Jews and of their community toward progressive democratization of Brazilian society." [RATTNER, p. 200] 
In Cuba, before Castro, says Robert Levine, "that Cuban Jews experienced significant post-war prosperity was demonstrated by the luxurious community center, the Patronato de la Casa de la Commidas Hebrea de Cuba," built in 1953. "Several members of [dictator Fulgencio] Batista's government from 1952 to 1958 were close to local Jews." [LEVINE, p. 211]  Among those was Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky, who built his own resort hotel, the Rivera, in Cuba, "the largest casino hotel in the world outside Las Vegas." [LEVINE, p. 203]
Among American Jewish industrialists, developers, financiers, and department store owners in the area, Jacob Branden was knighted by Batista, the Habif family owned the largest perfume factory, and Philip Rosenberg was head of one of the largest Cuban sugar plantations, the General Sugar Corporation.  Hardy Spatz owned the Avis Rental car franchise; Albert Hartman was president of Chrysler of Cuba. [LEVINE, p. 229]  "Several Jewish businessmen, especially the Americans, ran finance companies investing in commercial and residential real estate." [LEVINE, p. 197]  Adolph Kates was founder of the Miramar Yacht Club and was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, Cuban Chamber of Commerce, and the honorary president of the Pro-Israel Committee in Cuba. [LEVINE, p. 225]  Between 1930-45, 344 Jewish-owned companies made half of all shoes in Cuba. Twenty-four Jewish-owned diamond companies employed 1,200 people. [ELKIN, 1998, p. 145-146]
With Castro's communist revolution in 1959, about 70% of the Jewish residents of Cuba fled the country, "part of the general exodus of the middle and upper classes to the United States mainland." [LEVINE, p. 243]
There has even been an entire volume written about the tiny Jewish community in Jamaica. Why? "Although Jamaican Jews number no more than 350 individuals," wrote Carol Holzberg in 1987, "they are still reputed to be among the island's most prominent, wealthy, and influential national entrepreneurs." [HOLZBERG, MINORITIES, p. xiv]  By 1974-75 Jamaican Jews amounted to only .025% of that country's population, but accounted for 24% of the national entrepreneurial elite "as measured by the number of Stock Exchange company boards they served on as directors and chairmen ... By 1978 ... six of the 14 most active national entrepreneurs were Jewish." [HOLZBERG, p. 118] "By the eighteenth century," notes Joachim Prinz, "the Jews were paying most of the taxes on the island of Jamaica, and both industry and international trade were in their hands." [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 128]

How about Curacao, an island north of Venezuela, once a significant African slave site in the Americas? "In fact," notes the Jewish ethnic magazine Moment,

      "after 350 years on the island -- the community refers to itself as the oldest continuous
      Jewish community in the Americas -- the Jews are quick to point out that on Curacao,
      they are the locals ... [There is] now fewer than 350 Jews on an island of about 125,000
      ... As one rabbi told me, Curacaoan Jews have long been the 'Brahmins' of their little
       island. There is no 'community outside Israel where Jews [have] occupied that status
      in society,' the rabbi said ... The Jews are deeply entrenched in the island’s business
      elite. Jews own the island’s main bank, Maduro & Curiel’s. They own most of the
      car dealerships, the largest electrical appliance store, and many of the jewelry and
      clothing shops. Rabbi Michael Tayvah, a 39-year-old from Great Neck, N.Y., and
      spiritual leader at the Sephardic shul, says the Jews remain prominent in
       shipping—operating container freight companies." [Roinick, J., AUG-SEP 2001]
Peru?  "In 1864," notes Howard Sachar, "the abandoned mercury and silver mines of Peru were revived by the [Jewish] Salcedo family. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 268] "The vast majority of the founder of Lima's Jewish community," says Ariel Segal,
     "were mercachifles, peddlers, small traders, and owners of stores,
     immigrants who after years of hard labor and poverty prospered and
     became rich. The children who graduated from the Colegio Leon Pinelo
     in its first years inherited the already prosperous properties of their
     parents and became professionals. Today they are leaders of Lima's
     population, the inheritors of a community with solid institutions."
     [SEGAL, A., 1999, p. 47]
Segal has written an entire book about "the Jews of the Amazon" in the remote city of Iquitos. As one Jewish visitor to the region noted in 1910, "Upon arrival, you would think that you were in a Jewish city ... It is typical of [a Moroccan Jewish immigrant from Tangiers] to make his fortune in Iquitos." [SEGAL, A., p. 51]
In Bolivia, in 1987 the Jewish community numbered only 480 people, and "most are in commerce and trade, but some have entered the cultural life of the nation as musicians, artists, and promoters of athletic teams." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 127] The few Jews in Paraguay have centered upon a mercantile life, mostly in Asuncion. "Although far from wealthy, in a nation of limited resources, they are moderately well off." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 269]
In Chile, notes Howard Sachar,
     "Marranos [the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who faked, en masse,
      conversion to Christianity] figured prominently [in Chile] among the
      early conquistadors and Jewish converts of the sixteenth century. Gunther
      Bohm's volume, Chilean Jews in the Colonial Period, published by the
      National Academy, lists 150 names of Marrano origin currently borne by
      aristocratic Chilean families." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 275]
By the 1970s, Jews numbered about 30,000 in Chile, mostly living in Santiago. Immigrant Jews "rapidly achieved their characteristic eminence in commerce and played a major role in the establishment of Chilean light industry." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 275] Chilean Jews were the first to build
      "factories for the manufacture of wagons, mirrors, leather clothing,
      and gramophone records ... Chile's first plastic factory was opened
      in 1924 by Jewish immigrants ... By the fifties, there were Jewish
      entrepreneurs in sugar refining, tobacco plantations, lumber, chemicals,
      patent medicines, olive oil, perfume, thermoelectric plants, packing
      plants, eyeglasses, zippers, air conditioning and heating, Bakelite, and
      glass utensils for laboratories. Jewish managers and engineers were
      employed in foundries, construction firms, and public works, carrying
      on a long tradition of Jewish technicians involved with Chile's
      development." [ELKIN, 1998, p. 143]

As a 1981 World Jewish Congress report noted in overview about the Jews of Latin America (expressly noting Jews in Mexico, "Central America and the West Indies," Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia):

     "For the most part, Jews living in these well-organized communities are
     relatively well-to-do ... Most of the people who live in these countries are
     poor." [WALINSKY, L., 1981, p. 77, 78]
Hong Kong? The Wall Street Journal noted in 1997 that a Jewish family originally from Baghdad, the Kadoories, "are the foundation of Hong Kong commerce." [KAHN, J., p. A1]  Hong Kong, said the Jerusalem Post in 1998, is the place where the Jewish community (the relatively few who live there) is "arguably the wealthiest per capita in the world." [ARNOLD, p. 16]
Even in Iran things were excellent for Jews. Before the fall of the Shah in 1979, the 80,000 Jews of Iran "on per capita terms may well have been the richest Jewish community in the world." [MISRAHI, p. 358] 80% of Iran's Jews were regarded as 'well off,'" says David Misrahi, "another 10% 'very rich.'" [MISRAHI, p. 358]  (In the wake of the Khomeini revolution, notes Robert Spero, when Iranian Jews began arriving en masse to the largely Jewish city in New York   -- Great Neck on Long Island, they began "to buy hundreds of homes ... In a suburb not noted for modesty about its wealth, practically every American Jew in Great Neck has a story to tell about Iranian ostentation." [SPERO, p. 20, 22]
What about the Jews of Northern Ireland, who peaked at about 400 families in the capital city of Belfast in the 1950s? (Most have since left the area, going to England or Israel). As Patrick Rucker notes:
     "The cornerstone of the [Belfast Jewish] community had been set in
     the 19th century by a group of well-to-do Germans and Austrians. Gustav
     Wilhelm Wolff, in 1861, co-founded the shipbuilding factory Harland and
     Wolff, makers of the SS Titanic, and the Jaffe family thrived in Northern
     Ireland's linen industry. Wealthy and influential, many such families
     became prominent in civic society ... The Jews that remained in Northern
     Ireland, like their forefathers, are generally affluent and esteemed. Ronnie
     Appleton, president of the Belfast Hebrew Congregation, is a good
     example. A prominent attorney, Appleton was Belfast's longest serving
     barriester when he retired last year [1999] ... The Appletons probably
     have stronger ties to Israel than any other local family." [RUCKER, P.,
     6-30-2000, p. 52]
What about today's post-communist Poland, where only about 10,000-25,000 "active, affiliated, and 'border-line' Jews" are estimated to exist? "They are," says Laurence Weinbaum, a senior researcher for the World Jewish Congress, "extremely well-educated, often ... (at least relatively) well off." [WEINBAUM, p. 32]
In Italy, after emancipation in the 18th century, says Cecil Roth, "Jewish genius became apparent in every aspect of Italian life ... [ROTH, ITALY, p. 479] ... The proportion of distinction in the Jewish community outnumbered those in the country as a whole by sixteen to one, holding a clear lead in every field except the hereditary nobility and the Church." [ROTH, p. 480] Although Jews only represented 0.1% of the Italian population in 1930, nearly 7% of the names of a handbook of notable contemporary biographies were Jews. [ROTH, p. 480] That same year Jews represented 8% of the country's university professors. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 53] Adapting to political conditions, Jews were even well represented as prominent members of the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.  "Several Jews," notes Edwin Black, "were among Mussolini's closest advisers." [BLACK, p. 62] Guido Jung was also Mussolini's Minister of Finance, Albert Liuzzi was a commander in the fascist militia, and Giorgio Del Vecchi was the fascist rector of the University of Rome. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 37]  Other prominent Jewish Italian fascists included Aldo Finzi, an undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior and member of the first Fascist Grand Council, Dante Almani, a vice chief of police, Maurizio Rava, a general in the fascist militia, and Renzo Ravenna, the mayor of Ferrara. Even Mussolini's mistress, Margherita Sarfatti, was Jewish. She was also co-editor of the Fascist party's monthly magazine. [ZUCOTTI, p. 25-26] 
Over 200 Jews marched with Mussolini into Rome in 1922 and there were three Jews among the Fascist "martyrs" who died in bloody fights with socialists. "Jewish involvement with Italian fascism is not surprising, " says Susan Zuccotti, "With the exception of many in Rome, Italian Jews were solidly middle class, and by late 1921 fascism had become basically a middle-class, anti-worker movement. Early revolutionary aspects had declined, leaving as primary goals anti-socialism, union-busting, strike-breaking, and the restoration of law and order at workers' expense." [ZUCOTTI, p. 24 ] "There can hardly have been a Jewish family [in Italy]," wrote Hannah Arendt, "without at least one member in the Fascist Party, for ... Jews, like other Italians, had been flocking for almost twenty years into the fascist movement, since positions in the civil service were open only to members." [ARENDT, EICHMAN, p. 178] (Even in Hollywood, in the 1930s the Jewish mogul of Columbia studios, Harry Cohn, had an autographed photo of Mussolini in his office). [CHRISTOPHER, p. 202]
Meir Michaelis writes that
     "It has been suggested that jealousy of intellectually superior rivals,
     like [Jews] Treves and Modiglaini, turned Mussolini into a latent
     anti-Semite during his socialist phase ... Various Jews took part in
     the conversion of the future Duce to intervention and nationalism
     (G. Pantremoli, E. Jarach, E. Jona, C. Sarafatti). There were five Jews
     among the founders of the Fighting Fasci ... According to Giuseppe
     Antonio Borgese, Mussolini was also strongly influenced by two
     Jewish women, one Russian and one Italian [Angelica Balabanoff and
     Margharita Sarfatti]." [MICHAELIS, M., 1978, p. 10-11]
Both women were Mussolini mistresses. Even Mussolini's dentist, Piperno, was an Orthodox Jew. [GOLDBERG, M. 1976, p. 35-36]
In 1927 reporter Guido Bedarida reported on an interview he had with Rome's Chief Rabbi, Angelo Sacerdoti:
      "Professor Sacerdoti is persuaded that many of the fundamental
      principles of the Fascist Doctrine such as: the observance of the laws
      of the state, respect of traditions, the principle of authority, exaltation
      of religious values, a desire for the moral and physical cleanliness of
      family and the individual, the struggle for an increase of production,
      and therefore a struggle against Malthusianism, are no more or less
      than Jewish principles." [BRENNER, Zionism, p. 41]
In the European northeast, "by 1900," notes Ewa Morawska, "Jews constituted 75% of the entire commercial class in Russia and Congress Poland, 80% in Galicia, and 65% in Hungary." [MORAWSKA] In Hungary profoundly disproportionate Jewish influence was also readily observable in social and economic life. "By 1920," says Norman Cantor, "half of the lawyers of Budapest were Jews, and Jews were also prominent in science, literature, and the arts." [CANTOR, p. 247]  By the late 1930s, Jews, as 5% of the Hungarian population, also owned over 36% of the retail stores, warehouses, and offices." [KOTKIN, p. 43] In Budapest, in 1914, "Jews constituted 42 percent of the journalists, 45 percent of the lawyers, 49 percent of the doctors. Many had important positions in the government, and hundreds bore the patent of nobility. In no other country was the share of Jewish authors in the national literature as extensive. Ferenc Molnar was the nation's most popular playwright ... In 1913, Jeno Heltai, a cousin of Theodore Herzl [the founder of Zionism], was elected chairman of the Hungarian Writers' Association." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 339]
"By 1904 Jewish families owned 37.5 percent of Hungary's arable land; by 1910, although Jews comprised only 0.1 percent of agricultural laborers and 7.3 percent of industrial workers, they counted 50.6 percent of Hungary's lawyers, 53 percent of its commercial businessmen, 59.9 percent of its doctors and 80 percent of its financiers." [RHODES, R. 1988, p. 105] "In countries like Hungary and Romania," notes Richard L. Rubenstein, "commercial activity was largely in the hands of Jews, many of whom had emigrated from Galicia and the Pale of Settlement. They were regarded as permanently alien and unassimilable." [RUBENSTEIN, p. 45]

(Popular Jewish American convention today, of course, puts stock in legends of endemic Jewish suffering, in pre-war Hungary and elsewhere. This is what biographer Emmanuel Levin has to say about the Hungarian wealth of prominent Jewish Hollywood film director George Cukor's great-grandfather, depicted as an inexplicable anomaly: "His great-grandfather owned an estate in Hungary, an unusual situation for Jews at the time. Cukor never learned the reason why his handsome grandfather left the landed gentry of Central Europe and emigrated to the United States.")
[LEVY, EMANUEL, 1994, p. 16]

"The financial elite [after World War I]," says George Schopflin, "was separate from the political elite, though not wholly so. In Hungary this elite was overwhelmingly Jewish ... In Romania, the financial elite was small and weak and tended to be dependent on external, Western patrons; it too was heavily Jewish and was far less assimilated than in Hungary ... In Poland, the situation was similar, except that a native entrepreneurial class, based primarily on the population of former Prussian Poland, had begun to emerge and to compete with a Jewish entrepreneurial class that it regarded as alien." [SCHOPFLIN, G., 1990, p. 70-71]"

As W. D. Rubinstein notes:

         "In Hungary, there are reliable statistics about the highest class of taxpayers
          (known as 'virilists') in 1887. At that time, no fewer than 62.3 per cent of
          businessmen in this category (362 of 588) were Jewish, according to the research
          of Andrew C. Janos. Moreover, 12.5 per cent of the 'virilist' landowners in
          Hungary in 1857 were Jewish -- 305 of 2,450. By the 1920s it was apparently
          the case that 54.0 per cent of the owners of commercial establishment in
          Hungary (66.2 per cent in Budapest) were Jews, as well as 85.0 per cent of
          the directors and owners of financial institutions (90.3 per cent in Budapest),
          and 62.1 per cent of all employees in commerce. But only 12.5 per cent of all
           industrialists (31.6 per cent in Budapest) were Jews, by the familiar Jewish/Gentile
          divide between commerce and industry. It was also claimed by Janos that 'the
          members of twenty or so 'grand [Jewish] families -- the interlocking clans of
          Kohner, Ullman, Herzog, Deutsch, Mauthner, Goldberger, [and] Wodianer ...
          controlled among themselves some 90 per cent of Hungary's modern banking
          system and industrial plants." [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 6-7]

Czechoslovakia? "On the whole," notes Ruth Kestenberg-Gladstein,

     "the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia were doing well. At the threshhold of the
     twentieth century, the Jews of these two lands belonged to the 'comfortable,
     well-off' strata of the population ... [KESTENBERG-GLADSTEIN, p. 37]
     ...[T]ime-honored Jewish business practices in the so-called 'small trade'
     [peddling] was ... especially in the Czech areas ... a Jewish monopoly [p. 38]
     ... Jewish peddlers who became wealthy by exploiting the local peasants, who
      trusted them and availed themselves of their services as moneylenders, created
     resentment among Jews and gentiles alike. These peddlers charged exhorbitant
     rates of interest, thus forcing the peasants, and sometimes even a gentleman
     farmer, to sell thier property at auction, and then often purchased the property
     themselves at a cheap price. These abuses continuted until the Austrian
     Usury Laws of 1882 put an end to them ... [p. 38-39] ... By 1861 the Jews
     had been granted Besitzfahigkeit (the right to own landed property), and
     with the extravagance of the aristocratic landlords on the one hand and the
     thrift of the Jews on the other, it frequently happened that Jewish leaseholders
     became landowners." [p. 39]

Although there was a strata of poor, Jews "played an important role in the growth and development" of the Czech textile and beer industries, coal mining, and glass. "Quite aside from the fact that [these businesses] afforded employment to non-Jewish workers in their factories and generally boosted industry, the Jewish industrialists of these cities were responsible to a considerable extent for the economic advancement of their brethren, since they employed Jews in their offices and hired Jewish agents and commercial travelers to bring their goods to market ... It seems that the Jews preferred to use their brethren in the organization of their businesses." [KESTENBERG-GLADSTEIN, p. 40]

Jewish economic or managerial influence in turn-of-the century Czechoslovakia was significant in the following categories: banking, journalism, insurance, coal, iron, lignite, graphite, magnesite, asbestos, health resorts (Jews were "operators of most of the first class hotels") [PICK, J., p. 378], water power, agriculture ("The origin of much of the agricultural industry in Czechoslovakia could be traced to Jewish farmers") [PICK, J., p. 379], breweries, malt ["Most malt factories producing for export were in Jewish hands") [PICK, p. 381], hops ("The bulk of the hops output was exported and the majority of the exporters were Jewish") [PICK, p. 382], sugar ("Many Jewish names were prominent among the sugar industrialists of the old Monarchy and, consequently, there were many Jewish members on the Boards of the nationalized enterprises in the Republic of Czechoslovakia") [PICK, J., p. 382], candy/preserves/chocolate/cookies, alcohol (The "alcoholic liquers" industry was "primarily in Jewish hands") [PICK, J., p. 389], yeast, starch, chicory/coffee substitutes, vegetable shortening, cucumbers/cheese/flour, forestry, pulp and paper ("Both [of the largest mills] were under Jewish management") [PICK, J., p. 392], cardboard, plywood ["In this group, two Jewish-managed firms were of special importance") [PICK, J., p. 394], furniture, the chemical industry, wood distillation/explosives/matches, pharmaceuticals ("Among the leaders of the pharmaceutical industry was Dr. Robert Heisler in Chrast, whose plants produced morphine and cocaine") [PICK, J., p. 397], glass, glass jewelry, metal working/engineering/electrotechnical industries, metallurgy ("The famous Bohemia Copper Works in Prague were founded by Maximilian Bondy ... The company was managed by Adolf Epler, who for many years had been associated with Sir Frederick Epstein") [PICK, J., p. 402], automobiles, airplanes, aeronautical and scientific instruments, communications equipment and supplies, light metal products, textiles ("The textile industry [was] mostly in Jewish hands") [PICK, J., p. 409], cotton, woolens ["The woolen industry had old and established traditions in Czechoslovakia. Its leaders were in the vast majority Jewish") [PICK, J., p. 412], jute, flax, synthetics, hosiery, carpets, hats, clothing, leather, boots and shoes, gloves, rubber, cork, motion pictures ("The largest producer was the Elekta Film concern, with its imaginative chairman, Josef Auerbach") [PICK, J., p. 422], cartels and syndicates, commerce, stock and commodities exchanges, patents, transportation, railways, inland waterways, and commercial aviation. [PICK, J., 1968, p. 359-447]

Liva Rothkirchen notes an eventual "violent anti-Semitic reaction" by non-Jews to the Jews of Northeastern Slovakia,

      "where the Jewish population was especially numerous and least assimilated in
      appearance ... The reason for this hostility lay mainly in the social disparity between
      the backward economic condition of the lower strata of the gentile population in
      this area on one hand, and the more favorable position many Jews had attained
      during the era of liberalism, on the other." [ROTHKIRCHEN, L., p. 76]

More broadly across central Europe, "Jewish entrepreneurs [of the Austria-Hungarian power establishment] built the railroads, financed the coal mines, set up the Pilsner beer industry, pioneered sugar refining, developed the iron and steel industries, controlled the leading banks and newspapers, and were prominent in the leather goods, furniture, clothing, and food processing trades." [TIMMS, p. 51] The French-based Jewish Pereires family financed the southern Russian railways in 1856. "Other railways were financed by the Pereires in northern France, the Bischoffsheims in Belgium, Baron de Hirsch in Turkey, and the Belichroeders in Germany and Austria." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 16]

In the major Polish city of Krakow, 60% of the local doctors and lawyers were Jews. "Like Jews in commerce," says Ezra Mendelsohn, "Jews in the professions played a decisive role in Poland. One-third of all Polish lawyers and notaries were Jews, as were almost one-fourth of all those people engaged in publishing and journalism. Over one-half of all private doctors in Poland were Jews ... [All these people] were extremely important as leaders of the Jewish community, and especially as leaders of the various Jewish political movements, including Zionism." [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 8]
"Following an 1862 waiver [by the Russian Tsar] on restrictions for Polish Jews," notes Elizabeta Ettinger, "... by 1870 one-third of the factories in Warsaw were owned by Jews and by 1895 there was hardly a street left with no Jewish property ('We own the streets,' the Poles said half in jest, 'and the Jews own the houses).'" [ETTINGER, E., 1986, p. 20] By 1929, Jews constituted 43% of all of Poland's "entrepreneurs and capital owners" and the "bulk of private non-farm real assets were Jewish. In the top-income group the proportion was even higher. In manufacturing and commerce, Jews held 40-45% of large and medium-sized businesses, and a majority of smaller ones." [MARCUS, J. p. 253]
"It was the Jewish commercial class whose impact was most strongly felt in [Poland] as a whole; thus in 1931, of all those active in industry, 20 percent were Jews, while of all those active in commerce, 52.7 percent were Jews. In the backward kresy the latter figure was much higher, reaching 88.3 percent in 1921! Such Jewish 'domination' of trade, which was certainly a fact in the more backward regions of the state where the native middle class was so weak, was also a typically East Europe phenomena." [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 7] The Jewish bourgeoisie "dominat[ed] commerce and banking" in Poland in the 19th century and held a "strong position in industry." [BADZIAK,p. 57] One of the best known Jewish industrialists in Poland, Izrael Poznanski of Lodz, "has long been a focus of interest for historians and writers. After the Second World War," says Kazmierz Badziak, "the name Poznanski became a byword for the ruthless parvenu exploiting the working class." [BADZIAK, p. 58]
In the small Polish town of Kolbuszowa (with a population half Jewish), for example, former Jewish resident (up to World War II) Norman Salsitz recalled that "Jews conducted practically all the business of the town, with little or no Polish competition ... Most [Poles] purchased from Jewish shopkeepers, took their drinks in saloons with Jewish proprietors, and relied on Jewish lawyers, whom they acknowledged to be 'clever.' It was my father, for example, who supplied Catholic churches in our area with candles and other items used in various church ceremonies." [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. xiv,  244] Four of the town's five lawyers were also Jewish, as were two of the three doctors. Although Jews are religiously forbidden to eat pork, and Kolbuszowa was almost completely populated by Orthodox Jews, even the largest pig dealer in Kolbuszowa was a Jew, Abraham Rappaport. "How a Jew could prosper in such a business," wonders Salsitz, "no one ever explained." [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 99, , 100, 97] Salsitz declares that there were poor Jews in town, but also notes the condition of the non-Jewish peasants who lived in surrounding areas: "Their small plots of land were barely able to sustain them. At certain times of the year, before the harvest was in, survival for them came to be measured a day at a time. Potatoes, cabbage, sour milk, beans, a piece of bread -- only these basic foods kept them from starvation. Pigs, chickens, eggs, butter, and milk they also produced, but could not themselves afford to eat." [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 17]
An Italian ambassador to Poland, Eugenio Reale, noted, that, as less than ten percent of the Polish population:
     "Already at the beginning of the twentieth century one-third of Poland's
      industry and over one-half of its commerce was in Jewish hands. Before
      the Second World War, three-quarters of all Polish Jews were engaged
      in trade and industry whereas 80 percent of non-Jews were farmers. In
      trade, in banking, for every non-Jew there were 35 Jews; in industry and
      the crafts, for every 8 non-Jews there were 32 Jews; in the learned
      professions, for every non-Jew there were almost 4 Jews ... As a result
      of the monopolistic and closed-shop nature of the Jewish enterprises,
      non-Jewish workers were naturally unable to advance in industries where
      they should have." [PIOTROWSKI, p. 48]
As Ezra Mendelsohn notes about Poland during the years 1915-1926, "To the extent that the Jews remained basically unacculturated and unassimilated they were regarded [by Poles] as aliens, speaking a foreign language and refusing to identify with Polish interests ... Objective reasons for disliking Jews, who were so numerous, so influential, and so clearly non-Polish were not lacking." [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 16, 12]
As just one percent of the population in England, by World War I Jews accounted for 23% of Britain's non-landed millionaires, as financiers, merchants, bankers, stockbrokers, and other such entrepreneurs. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 22] "Of 31 millionaire British merchants who died between 1808 and 1838 ... 24 were Jewish." [BROOKS, J., 10-23-88, p. 42] More generally, "about 8.5 per cent of Britain's top wealth-holders between 1809 and 1939 were Jews." [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 11] Disproportionate influence in the mass media, as usual, was extraordinary. The Reuters news agency ("the chief purveyor of information on world events to the entire British press and, at times, the government") was founded and owned by Jews (originally by Paul Julius Reuter whose original name was Israel Beer Josaphat), as was the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, the English Review, the Daily Telegraph, and the Westminister Gazette.  A Jewish businessman, Harry Oppenheim, also had a major interest in the London Daily News. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 22]  "In England," notes Cecil Roth,
      "the most notable Jewish figure in the newspaper world in the nineteenth
      century was J. M. Levy, who founded not merely the Daily Telegraph,
      but, as a result, popular journalism as a whole in England ... All three of
      the pioneers in the establishment of the European news agencies were
      Jews -- Reuter, Wolff, and Havas." [ROTH, C., 1940, p. 143, 145]

As Chaim Bermant notes:

     "In the last century both the [London] Sunday Times and the Observer  
     were at one time owned and edited (with no conspicuous success) by
     Rachel Beer, a member of the Sassoon banking clan, and the Daily
was owned until 1928 by the Levy-Lawson family. The
     Telegraph was originally picked up as a bad debt by Moses Levy,
     a printer (who for a while also owned the Sunday Times), but it was
     his son, Edward, who put new life and zest into it, and who, in 1871,
     joined with the New York Herald to sponsor Stanley's successful
     search for Livingston ... The Daily Herald, The People, and numerous
     other publications belonging to the Oldham group, were owned for a
     time by Julius Elias." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 70-71]   
By 1969 Jews were over represented by seven times their ratio in the population as Members of the House of Commons. [LITVINOFF, p. 18] (Among the earliest Jewish members of British Parliament was Manasseh Lopes in 1802. However, notes Stanley Weintraub, "he was no role model as he became involved in a scandal and was imprisoned for bribery and corruption.") [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 116]
As early as the twelfth century Jews exerted profound economic influence in England. The King of England, Henry II, owed a Jewish banker, Aaron of Lincoln, 100,000 pounds, a sum equal to that era's annual budget for the entire English kingdom and numerous estates of nobles were taken over by Jewish usurers as payment for loans. [LEON, p. 145] By the late 17th century, the Carvajal family alone imported a twelfth of the country's gold bullion into England. [SACHAR, p. 22] )
Typical too, as everywhere, the Jewish elite in England were genetically insular in consolidating their wealth and control. "[Britain's] leading [Jewish] families," says W. D. Rubenstein, "among them the Rothschilds, Montefiores, Goldsmids, Samuels, Sterns, Beddingtons, and Sassoons -- became immensely wealthy, a self-contained and inter-married caste which has come to be known as the 'cousin-hood.'" [RUBENSTEIN, p. 13]
This 'Cousinhood,' says Chaim Bermant, "[was] not merely a cluster of relatives. In many ways they functioned as an organic unit and even while their own rights were not yet wholly assured, they threw their wealth and influence on behalf of persecuted co-religionists in other parts of the world." [BERMANT, p. 3] There is, in Britain," says a Jewish author, Stephen Brook, "as in most nations of the western world, a club known as the Jewish community ... Membership, like an ancient title of nobility, is inherited." [BROOK, p. 11]
Benjamin Disraeli, certainly the best known individual of Jewish descent in English history, rose to prominence as the British prime minister and was a chief architect of England's world imperialist policy. World Zionist Organization president Nahum Goldmann calls him "the true creator of the British Empire in the nineteenth century." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 9] Although an "assimilated" Jew into English society, he felt strongly about his Jewish heritage. "He felt very proud," writes Hannah Arendt, "about the Rothschilds' help in defeating Napoleon and did not see any reason why he should not be outspoken in his political opinions as a Jew." [ARENDT, p. 71]
As prime minister of the greatest imperialist country of the nineteenth century, Disraeli had connections with international Jewry and its enormous economic means. "Disraeli's purchase of the Suez Canal in 1878," says Benjamin Ginsberg, "was made possible by Henry Oppenheim's extensive contacts in Egypt and a four million pound loan from Lionel Rothschild." [GOLDBERG, B., 1993, p. 24] Chaim Bermant recounts the well-known story about this transaction:

     "In 1875, when Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli heard that a large packet of shares,
     which would have given Britain control of the Suez Canal, were on offer, there
     was only one person to whom he could turn for ready cash: Baron Lionel de
     Rothschild. His secretary, Cory, was quickly sent round to the bank and ushered
     into the presence of the Baron. How much money was needed? he was asked.
     Four million pounds. When? Tomorrow. The Baron, fingering a muscatel grape,
     popped it into his mouth and spat out the skin. 'What is your security?' 'The
     'British government.' 'You shall have it.'" [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40]

The implications of such international Jewish dealings were not lost to critics of the time.
The British scholar, Goldwin Smith, ("a respected historian and educational reformer") [PILZER, J., 1981, p. 10] wrote against Britain's imperialist policies, arguing that the Disraeli government's foreign policy benefited Jewish, and not British, interests. [GOLDBERG, p. 24] Smith argued that "the Jew alone regards his race as superior to humanity, and looks forward not to it ultimate union with other races, but to its triumph over them all, and to its final ascendancy under the leadership of a tribal Messiah." [SMITH, G., 1881/1981, p. 10] The British writer J. A. Hobson, in his classic work, Imperialism:  A Study, declared that Jews formed "the central ganglion of international capitalism." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 24] "United by the strongest bonds of organization," he wrote, "always in closest and quickest touch with one another, situated in the heart of the business capital of every state, controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, chiefly by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial expertise, they are in a unique position to manipulate the policy of nations." [HOBSON, p. 56-57] Hobson's book, described by one author as "the single most influential tract ever written on imperialism"  [SMITH, p. 395] even gained high praise from the leader of the Russian Bolshevik revolution, V.I. Lenin.
Nor were the implications of such criticisms lost to Disraeli himself. In fact, "[Disraeli] produced the entire set of theories about Jewish influence and organization that we usually find in the more vicious forms of anti-Semitism." [ARENDT, p. 71] Such a "vicious form" is best epitomized in the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document produced by the Russian tzarist government during their unsuccessful attempts to secure loans from international Jewish financiers at the turn of the century (most of them colluded against Russia). The Protocols proved to be false (it was essentially excerpted from an obscure novel) but has nonetheless become the most famous anti-Jewish document of all time, and is still afforded occasional currency by anti-Jewish groups and individuals today. The Protocols basically details an alleged Jewish plot to control the world and subjugate its non-Jewish populations.
Who knows if Disraeli would have dismissed the Protocols? His own fascination with the prospect of world domination by a wealthy transnational Jewish cabal was very real. This fascination was not that of an obscure London rag picker or street sweeper. It was from the perspective of a member of Parliament and the eventual Prime Minister of Great Britain, the most powerful imperialist nation on earth in his time; and it was dreamed by a man who spent his political life among people, including many Jewish financiers, of momentous influence.  "To the very end of his life," notes Howard Sachar, "Disraeli held fast to the credo of [Jewish] racial aristocracy. Whenever he engaged in conversation with the Rothschilds, he harped on the theme to the point of monotony." [SACHAR, p. 157-158]
The idea of Jewish innate superiority and an economic interest in dominating earth were expressed in some of the novels Disraeli himself authored. His first novel was called Alroy (1833) and its title was taken from a historical figure, a messianic Jew in Iran in the twelfth century, David Alrui, who appealed to his fellow Jews to take up arms against the non-Jews around them. "In... Alroy," notes Hannah Arendt,
     "Disraeli evolved a plan for a Jewish Empire in which Jews would
      rule as a strictly separated class ... In a new novel, Coningsby, he
      abandoned the dream of a Jewish Empire and unfolded a fantastic
      scheme according to which Jewish money dominates the rise and
      fall of courts and empires and rules supreme in diplomacy. Never
      in his life did he give up this second notion of a secret and mysterious
      influence of the chosen man of a chosen race, with which he replaced
      his earlier dream of an openly constituted mysterious ruler caste. It
      became the pivot of his political philosophy ... [ARENDT, p. 75] ...
      To Disraeli, it was a matter of course that Jewish wealth was only
      a means for Jewish politics. The more he learned about Jewish bankers'
      well-functioning organizations in business matters and their international
      exchange of news and information, the more convinced he was that he
      was dealing with something like a secret society which, without anybody
      knowing it, had the world's destiny in its hands." [ARENDT, p. 76]
Disraeli even believed that Jews everywhere were uniformly desirous of "revenge" against Christians, using absolutely contrasting ideologies -- capitalism and communism -- to the same end through parallel "internationalism." "Men of Jewish race," he wrote, "are found at the head of every one of [the communist and socialist groups]. The people of God cooperate with atheists; the most skilled accumulators of property ally themselves with communists, the peculiar and chosen people touch the hands of the scum and low castes of Europe! And all this because they wish to destroy the ungrateful Christendum which owes them even its name and whose tyranny they can no longer endure." [ARENDT, p. 76]
"In this singular delusion," says Arendt,
     "even the most ingenious of Hitler's publicity stunts, the cry of the
     alliance between the Jewish capitalist and the Jewish socialist was
     already anticipated. Nor can it be denied that the whole scheme,
     imaginary as it was, had a logic of its own. If one started, as Disraeli
     did, from the assumption that Jewish millionaires were makers of
     Jewish politics, if one took into account the insults Jews had suffered
     for centuries (which were real enough, but still stupidly exaggerated
     by Jewish apologetic propaganda), if one had seen the not infrequent
     instances when the son of a Jewish millionaire became a leader of the
     workers' movement and knew from experience how closely knit Jewish
     family ties were as a rule, Disraeli's image of a calculated revenge upon
     Christian people was not far fetched." [ARENDT, p. 72]
Disraeli, suggests Albert Lindemann, "may have been, both as a writer and even more as a personal symbol, the most influential propagator of the concept of race in the nineteenth century, particularly publicizing the Jews' alleged taste for power, their sense of superiority, their mysteriousness, their clandestine international connections, and their arrogant pride in being a pure race." [LINDEMANN, p. 77]  As Stanley Weintraub notes, Disraeli "sees crypto-Jews managing affairs: professors, ambassadors, generals, councellors, and cabinet members." In Coningsby, Disraeli wrote that the world is "governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes." [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 216] In real life, "within days of publication" of this book, Disraeli was invited to dinner with a Rothschild. [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 219]
Turning elsewhere, to Eastern Europe, a nineteenth century consortium of wealthy Jewish contractors and financiers were instrumental in building railroads throughout the area. One of the "secrets" to Samuel Poliakov's success in this field, says Aradius Kahan, "was his ability to obtain credits from Russian and foreign banks ... and the speed, if not necessarily the quality, of construction and exploitation." [KAHAN, p. 93]  "Kinship ties," adds Kahan, "between Jewish bankers in Berlin and Frankfort ... facilitated transfers of loans across national boundaries." [KAHAN, p. 99] Baron Moritz de Hirsch, "an enormously wealthy financier, [built] the Trans-Balkan Railroad." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 253] "It is estimated that Hirsch made between $32m and $34m from the entire Oriental Railway scheme, but he may have had to pay out more than half ot that in bribes." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 45] Hirsch, notes Chaim Bermant, "had one palace in Paris, another in Versailles, a third near the Rothschilds in Piccadilly, a castle in Moravia, a country house near Sandringham, a shooting lodge near Newmarket and a vast hunting estate at St. Johann in Hungary. It was there that, during a memobrable fortnight in October 1891, he entertained a large party [which included various members of the British aristocracy] ... In a five-day shoot the party slaughtered over eleven thousand head of game." [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 45-46]
Other prominent Eastern European Jewish 'railroad tycoons', says Howard Sachar, "included the Poliakovs, the Kronenbergs, the Nathansons, the bankers Efrosi and Co., the Rafaloviches, and Gunzbergs. They had the most available capital and the best international connections for securing additional funds from their fellow Jews in Berlin, Paris, and Warsaw." [SACHAR, p. 212]  Because of this, "Jews were able to lay the basis for modern Russian banking." Horace Gunzberg founded one of the largest investment banks in Russia; Meyer & Co., was the second largest bank in Moscow. In Warsaw, by the late 1800s the Wawelbergs, Kronenbergs, and Frankels were among its most preeminent bankers.  In Odessa, the Efrosi Bank "played a crucial role in the grain export trade," and the Poliakovs alone founded four banks in Moscow. [SACHAR, p. 212]
"By 1916," notes Robert Brym, "the fourteen St. Petersberg banking houses operating in joint-stock capital had 70 managers, 28 of whom (or 40 percent) were Jews. One liberal Jewish commentator of the period was prompted to remark that there 'is hardly a loan the Russian government seeks to negotiate but some Russo-Jewish agents are, directly or indirectly, connected therewith." [BRYM, 1978, p. 25]

"A number of important industries were very disproportionately owned and organised by Jews," notes W. D. Rubinstein,

     "they included textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, saw mills, brewing and
     alcohol, tobacco, and the leather manufacturing industry; in commerce, the
     grain and timber trade; banking; shipping and transport; and mining -- industries
     from which Jews were not barred by law. Such statistics as exist show that
     the Jews often far exceeded their percentage of the population in these
     fields. For instance,
Jews owned about 182 of 518 join-stock sugar companies
     (35 per cent); 69 out of 106 sawmills in the northwestern areas (68 per
     cent); and so forth, based on very scattered statistics. By 1878,
     60 per cent of the grain export from Odessa was in Jewish hands; according
     to the 1897 Census, 886 of every 1,000 persons engaged in commerce
     in Russia's northwestern provinces were Jews." [RUBINSTEIN, WD,
     2000, p. 6-7]

For the Jewish community at-large, the overall nuances of Jewish influence in a more generally impoverished Eastern Europe was different than the West. In the late eighteenth century the Polish Commonwealth collapsed and was absorbed by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. The demise of serfdom in later years eroded Jewry's aristocracy-serving pre-eminence; Jewish communities became more and more politically agitated. Aleksander Hertz notes that:
    "All the positions of the nationalist Jews agreed with the idea that Jews
     were different than Poles, constituted a distinctly separate cultural and
     national community, and had their own specific interests. The Zionists
     laid full emphasis on alienness, the Bundists on differentness and
     separateness, but both ascribed to the fact of Jewish survival to their
     age-old isolation from the surrounding community. Unlike the Poles
     and assimilationists, they viewed isolation as an extremely positive
     phenomena." [HERTZ, p. 28]
In Russia, under Tsarist rule, Jews were only allowed to live in an area called the Pale of Settlement, twenty-five western districts (20% of European Russia -- 362,000 square miles, reaching west of Warsaw) which they shared with a variety of other ethnic peoples -- Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, and Lithuanians, among them. Jewish economic activity was varied, from merchantry to craft specialization. Still, a British traveler of the era wrote that "the entire petty trade in Poland and Lithuania is controlled by Jews" and a historian of Lithuanian Jewry noted that in 1792 "all the trade and industry of Lithuania was controlled by this population." [MENDOLSOHN, p. 2] "Nearly all the merchants of the Pale [of which Jews were 12% of the population]," says Howard Sachar, "were Jews ... [and] it was true that the Jews were exceptionally influential in the upper levels of commerce." [SACHAR, p. 212] By the turn of the twentieth century, estimates another scholar, three-quarters of the merchants of the Pale were Jewish, 88-96% of those in provinces like Grodno and Minsk, 82% of those in Western Galicia, and 92% in Eastern Galicia. [HEINZE, p. 185]
"In the Pale of Settlement," observes Michael Aronson, "most of the grain trade (measured in terms of actively employed individuals engaged in the trade) were heavily concentrated in the hands of the Jewish merchants ... They also engaged extensively in the exploitation of the forests. Jews were thus very important intermediaries between the peasants and the market. They took part in almost all the peasants' commercial dealings in the Pale and generally excluded non-Jewish competition from this field of activity." [ARONSON, p. 37]
Such Jewish economic power derives from its medieval origin, notes Bernard Weinryb, "where in Poland a number of wealthy Jews ... were engaged ... (as money lenders, merchants) ... managers of the prince's mint, supervisors of collection of taxes and tolls, [and] management of estates acquired as the result of foreclosure." Often these Jews became "creditors of the prince or King, occasionally even a city." They also leased ore and salt mines and "paid a fixed sum annually and then usually took in a much higher amount." [WEINRYB, p. 63] "There are also cases," notes Weinryb, "in which failure to repay the loan punctually caused the amount of the loan to be raised to five times the original sum. In some cases tardy borrowers were jailed, and on many occasions their real estate and villages were foreclosed and taken over by the Jewish lenders. The debtors' natural resentment of his creditors was increased when homeowner and property owners saw their properties foreclosed." [WEINRYB, p. 60] In southern Poland, after the 15th century, Jews owned such estates, non-Jewish slaves, and "in later centuries ... certain Jews were exercising ... local justice over Christians." [WEINRYB, p. 62]

Odessa, notes Chaim Bermant,

     "the largest industrial and commecial city of southern Russia, had a Jewish population
     of 165,000 (out of half a million) before World War I, and although part of the
     Pale, it was not quite of it, for its population was largely Western in outlook,
     with a sizeable industrial proletariat, many prosperous merchants and bankers,
     and a large Jewish professional class. About ninety per cent of the doctors in
     Odessa, and more than half of the lawyers, were Jews." [BERMANT, C., 1977,
     p. 149]
In western Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a "confrontation (between Jewish and non-Jewish workers) took place predominantly in Jewish-owned factories; the presence of the Jewish worker was considered [by non-Jews] to be part of a 'Jewish plot' which would ultimately replace the non-Jewish worker." [KAHAN, p. 39]  Tensions sometimes rose between Jewish social classes too; Kahan suggests that wealthy Jewish industrialists were reluctant to exploit other Jews in their factories. Non-Jews were less likely to be "class-conscious, less easily organized, and less radical in demanding higher wages and more humane treatment." [KAHAN, p. 40] "By 1880," says Norman Cantor, "Russia was going through the early stages of industrialization and the emergence of factory production provided jobs in Warsaw and elsewhere. The factories, usually owned by Jewish entrepreneurs, were highly exploitive and insalubrious, as was characteristic of the early Industrial Revolution elsewhere." [CANTOR, p. 253]
A certain proper protocol of exploitation was also necessary. Exploiting fellow Jews had precarious religious and social repercussions. "It appears," says Ezra Mendelsohn, "that Jewish industrialists refused to hire Jews because they felt that proper employee relationships were impossible when both were of the Jewish faith." [MENDELSOHN, p. 21]
By 1889 the Russian Ministry of Justice warned the Tsar that the legal profession was being "flooded with Jews." [LINDEMANN, p. 145] Barnett Litvinoff noted in 1969 that, even under communism, "in the major cities of European Russia the Jews take on the familiar characteristics of Jews in other parts of the world ... In terms of employment structure, they resemble almost uncannily their fellows in the United States: their most often chosen occupations are medicine and law ... [As 1% of the Russian population] one-seventh of all Soviet doctors are Jews, and one-ninth of all the lawyers. Next in prominence comes writers and journalists." [LITVINOFF, B., p. 99]

Michael Paul Sacks devoted an entire article to the subject of the 1989 Russian census and its revelations regarding Jewish occupational tiers in the Soviet Union. While Jews in Russia are popularly conceived in the West to be a disadvantaged people oppressed by endemic Russian anti-Semitism, by the 1950s, he notes, Jews

     "continued to be widely represented in the Soviet academic, cultural, and
      artistic elite ... In the 1970s ... Jews had specialized knowledge and
      experience that remained in short supply and assured their entry
      into many high-status positions [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 247] ... Many Jews

      ... filled the void left by the aftermath of the [Russian] revolution when
      the traditional clerical, administrative, and intellectual classes boycotted
      the Soviet regime or were kept out of these positions [SACKS, 1998,
      p. 248] ... [The 1989 census revealed that Jews had a great] concentration
      in urban areas ..., higher levels of education, and relative seniority in key
      industries ... Jewish educational achievement vastly exceeded that of
      Russians [64% of Jews had a 'higher education,' 14% of non-Jewish
      Russians] [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 252] ... The difference between the two
      groups [Jews and Russians] was evident across all age groups, but
      the educational advantage of older Jews seems especially significant:

      older workers were at a more advanced stage in their careers and those
      with high education were likely to occupy important positions within their
      professional fields ..." [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 252]

Sacks notes that the largest employment category for Jews in Russia was/is as engineers (16% of all employed Jews). The most populous occupational category for non-Jews in Russa was/is metal workers (7.2%). [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 256] "Occupations that were largest only for Jews," Sacks continues, "were primarily top-level positions, and all were white collar: physicians, scientists, chief managerial personnel, artists and producers, literary and press personnel. The categories that were largest only for Russians were entirely manual labor and often low-skill: tractor drivers, cleaners, weighers, nursemaids, lathe operators, tailors and seamstresses, carpenters, and dairy workers." [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 257] Three-quarters of all employed Jews in 1989 were in non-manual labor positions; conversely, three-quarters of all Russian non-Jews had manual labor jobs. Among the Jewish "manual laborer" category were watchmakers, jewelers, bookbinders, shoe makers, tanners, furriers, barbers, cosmeticians, and photographers. [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 260, 263]

Sacks notes the troubling implications of the Russian Jewish occupational field:

     "Jewish achievements may have left Jews in a vulnerable situation. They
      were concentrated in high-level positions and often very isolated from
      the bulk of the Russian labor force. Older and much more highly educated,
      most Jews were in a world far apart from typical Russian workers. A
      survey in Russia in 1992 showed that one of the strongest variables
      associated with anti-Semitism was 'having no acquaintances or friends
      who are Jewish.' Another study from the same period found that 'the
      vast majority of Russians (between 75 and 78 percent) saw themselves
      as having nothing or very little in comon with Jews." [SACKS, M.,
      1998, p. 264]

With the eventual fall of Tsarist rule, the influence of Jews in the rise of Russian communism was profound. (After all, as Louis Rapoport notes, "[Karl] Marx, Ferdinand Lassalle, and Eduard Bernstein [were] men of Jewish origin who laid the foundations of communism and socialism.") [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 15] During the 1917 revolution, two communist factions, the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks vied for power. Leading up to the revolution, eight of the seventeen Menshevik Party central committee members were Jewish. The "entire Menshevik Party which included many Jewish members ... was politically linked with the Jewish Labor Bund [a party largely championing Jewish nationalism]." [LEVIN, N., 1988, p. 13] The head of the Menshevik Party was also Jewish, Raphael Abramovich. [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 31]
The rival Bolshevik revolutionary faction, however, prevailed in the overthrow of the tsarist government, replacing it with a communist government headed by V. I. Lenin. (A Jew, Boris Zbarsky, even was the one who embalmed Lenin's corpse for permanent display in the Kremlin). [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 95] Lenin had a Jewish grandfather, Alexander Dmitrievich Blank, on his mother's side. Russian author Dmitri Volkogonov's 1994 biography of Lenin notes that

     "In [Lenin's sister's] letter to Stalin [after Lenin's death], Anna wrote: 'It's
     probably no secret for you that the research on our grandfather shows that
     he came from a poor Jewish family, that he was, as his baptismal certificate
     says, the son of 'Zhitomir meschanin Moishe Blank.' She went on to suggest
     that 'this fact could serve to help combat anti-semitism.' Paradoxically for
     a Marxist who believed in the primacy of environmental over inherited factors,
     she also asserted the dubious proposition that Lenin's Jewish origins 'are
     further confirmation of the exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe, [confirmation]
     always shared by Ilyich [Lenin] .... Ilyich always valued Jews highly.' Anna's
     claim explains, for instance, why Lenin frequently recommended giving
     foreigners, especially Jews, intellectually demanding tasks, and leaving the
     elementary work to the 'Russian fools.'" [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. 8-9]

Lenin also once told Maxim Gorky that "the clever Russian is almost always a Jew or has Jewish blood in him." [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. 112]

At the time of the revolution, the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Jacob Sverdlov, was Jewish. [WEYL, 1968, p. 197] As the new ruling Bolshevik clique took shape, three of the six members of the original ruling Politburo were also Jewish. Two of them, Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Grigori Zinoviev (Apfelbaum), joined with Stalin to form the threesome that ruled Russia at leader V. I. Lenin's death. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 30]  (Zinoviev once remarked that "We must carry along with us ninety million out of the one hundred million Soviet Russian population. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.") [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 31] Zinoviev "and his wife Z. I. Lilina were close family friends of Lenin, and Zinoviev probably received more personal letters from Lenin than any other leader." Similarly, Lev Kamenev "received the most correspondence [from Lenin] ... He was much trusted by Lenin, even on personal matters, for example on Lenin's relationship with his mistress Inessa Armand at the time he and Lenin were sharing an apartment in Poland. Kamenev's knowledge of Lenin is important because he was the first editor, with Lenin's direct participation, of Lenin's collected works." [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. xxxv]

Another Jew, Angelica Balabanova, formerly an associate of Mussolini in Italy, headed the first Communist Comintern. Karl Radek (Sobelsohn) was "one of the leading agents of the Communist International ... The short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic was led by Bela Kun (a variant of Cohen) and the organizer of the Workers' and Soldiers' Soviets of the even more ephemeral Bavarian Soviet Republic was Eugen Levine." [WEYL, p. 197]  "Eugen Levine and Max Levien, distinctly un-Bavarian names," notes Alex de Jonge, "proclaimed a Communist Soviet Republic." [DE JONGE, A., 1978, p. 53]
Howard Sachar notes more deeply the case of Hungary where
    "a free election took place in November 1945, and the communists won
    only 8 percent of the vote ... With the intimidating force of the Red
    Army behind them, the Communists turned their efforts in the next
    year to infiltration ... Their Soviet-trained leadership included a large
    majority of Jews. Although many of the commissars from the Bela
    Kun era in 1919 had been killed, a number of them survived in Soviet
    exile. These were the men who returned now in the wake of the Red
    Army. Their spokesman was Matyas Rakosis ... He returned
    at the head of a quintet of fellow Jews that included Erno Gero, who
    would become the communist government's economic overlord;
    Mihaly Farka, its military and defense chieftain; Jozeph Revai, its 
    cultural 'pope'; and most importantly, Gabor Peter, who would be
    named head of the dreaded security police." [SACHAR, H., 1985,
    p. 344]
Jewish pre-eminence in the new Russian regime was throughout the communist system. As Zvi Gitelman notes:'
     "The idea that the Bolshevik regime was a Jewish one gained
     popularity because of the relatively large numbers of Jews who
     in 1917 suddenly rushed into governmental posts from which
     they had been barred under the tsars. So striking was the
     prominence of Jews in high places that when it was proposed
     that a Jewish ticket be put forth in the elections to the Constituent
     Assembly, Maxim Vinaver commented, 'Why do Jews need a
     separate ticket? Whichever party wins, we will still be the
     winners.'" [GITELMAN, Z., 1972, p. 114]
In the struggle for power in Russia, notes Nathaniel Weyl, "the prominence of Jews in the leadership of the Bolshevik Party was no greater than their prominence in the leadership of other, less totalitarian parties."  Prominent Jews in rival socialist factions included Julius Martov (Tsederbaum), Raphael Abramovitch, and I. N. Steinberg. Boris Savinkov, also Jewish, was the "legendary head of the Terrorist Brigade of the Socialist Revolutionary Party." Aaron Baron and Lev Chorny were well-known Anarchists. [WEYL, 1968, p. 199-200] Building to the Russian revolution era, prominent Jewish revolutionaries also included Grigory Abramovich Perets and Nikolay Utin. One of the founders (in 1876) of the "Land and Liberty" revolutionary party was Mark Natanson. "Another Jew," notes Leon Schapiro, "Aaron Zundelevich, played an important part on its executive committee. There were Jewish propagandists, Jewish organisers, Jewish terrorists ... It is impossible to doubt the importance of the Jewish contribution to the less spectacular business of organisation and staff-work. It was the Jews, with their long experience of exploiting conditions on Russia's western frontier which adjoined the Pale for smuggling and the like, who organised the illegal transport of literature, planned escapes and illegal crossings, and generally kept the wheels of the whole organisation running." [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 152] One of the Land and Liberty party's later branches, the "Black Repartition" group, "soon became the cradle of the Marxist movement. Jewish revolutionaries participated in all stages and in all aspects of this movement." [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 149-151]
"The abundance of Jewish names in the higher and middle levels of power (in the [Bolshevik] Party and state apparat, in the military, ministry, etc.) is indisputable," says apologist Jewish author Arkady Vaksberg, "... For anti-Semites now, this is an odious and outrageous fact; from the point of view of normal people not blinded by chauvinist hatred, it is meaningless." [VAKSBERG, p. 22] "Among the second-string leaders of the Soviet," observed Nathaniel Weyl, "were Gregory Sokolnikov (Brilliant), Solomon Lozovsky, who would head the Red International of Labor Unions, and Moses Uritsky, chief of the Petrograd Cheka and number two man in the Soviet secret police."[WEYL, 1968, p. 198]
In 1923, notes Isaac Deutscher, "a triumvirate, composed of Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, formed itself within the Politbureau ... Between them, the three men virtually controlled the whole [Communist] party and, through it, the Government ... Zinoviev was, in addition, the President of the Communist International." [DEUTSCHER, p. 255]  Amidst intrigue and power struggles within the communist movement, however, by 1927 Kamenev and Zinoviev "at last threw in their lot with Trotsky." [DEUTSCHER, p. 307]  Trotsky, an enemy of Stalin, was "the founder and builder of the Red Army," [DEUTSCHER, p. 192] and once the "number two man next to Lenin. " [NEW ENCYC BRITTANICA, p. 945] He was also Jewish, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein. Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, notes Arkady Vaksberg, "alone formed the 'leadership nucleus' and had every reason to expect to inherit the mantle of leadership from Lenin. The man closest to the 'troika' (Trotsky-Zinoviev-Kamenev) after [Yakov] Sverdlov's death was Grigori Sokolnikov." [VAKSBERG, p. 19]  All five of these men poised to rule Russia were Jewish. Kamenev once told Trotsky (his brother-in-law) [WALSH, p. 440] that "It will be enough for you and Zinoviev to appear together on the platform in order to reconquer the whole party." [DEUTSCHER, p. 308] It didn't work out that way. Stalin proved to be a more ruthless and/or shrewd leader in the struggle for power.
Nonetheless, Jews were very well represented in the Soviet system under Stalin. As Isaac Deutscher notes,
     "Jews were quite prominent in [Stalin's] entourage, though far less
     so than they had been in Lenin's. [Max] Litvinov stood for over a decade
     at the head of the Soviet diplomatic service; Kagonovich was to
     the end Stalin's factotum; Mekhlis was the chief political Commissar
     of the army; and Zaslavsky and Ehrenburg were the most popular
     of Stalin's sycophants. Yet he was not averse from playing on
     anti-Jewish emotions when this suited his convenience. During
     the struggle of against the inner-party oppositions his agents made
     the most of the circumstance that Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev,
     and Radek were of Jewish origin." [DEUTSCHER, p. 605]
"Lev Mekhlis," notes Louis Rapoport,
     "would become Stalin's secretary and one of the most despised
     men in Soviet history ... Immediately after the Revolution, many
     Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new
     government. Lenin's first Politburo was dominated by men of
     Jewish origins ... Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects
     of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists'
     vow to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution --
     partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet
     administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization
     drives that followed." [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 30]
The Soviet Union's leading communist newspaper was Pravda. It's "leading staff members," Yakov Khavinson and David Zaslavsky, were Jewish, as were the Soviet Unions ambassadors to the U.S., Maxim Litvinov and Ivan Maisky, who were recalled in 1943. [VAKSBERG, p. 260, 139]
In 1994, Russian-born (and raised) Jewish author Arkady Vaksberg wrote a book entitled Stalin Against the Jews. Its fundamental thesis is that Stalin was a fanatical anti-Semite. (Louis Rapoport's Stalin's War Against the Jews reflects the same theme). The fact that many Jews (including millions of others) died under his direction is beyond question. And Stalin's actions in later life reflect his suspicions of the loyalty of many in the Jewish community. But the fact that Stalin was nonetheless surrounded by Jews everywhere in positions of high power (Lazar Kaganovich, Pyatnitsky, Fillip Goloschekin "and many others who were made part of the ruling circle") [VAKSBERG, p. 20] is described by Vaksberg as "camoflauge" for the Soviet leader's hatred of Jews. [VAKSBERG, p. 27] Yet Vaksberg's own evidence to portray the Russian Jewish community as solely victims consistently deflates the premise of Stalin's enduring anti-Semitism.Vaksberg assails Stalin as a singularly rabid, irrational Jew-hater even while stating that "the people who surrounded Stalin and who had rendered him service in the twenties and thirties were mostly Jews" [VAKSBERG, p. 35] and conceding that Jews especially close to Stalin like Emelyan Yaroslavky (Mines Gubelman), Moisey Gubelman, Lev Mekhlis ("Stalin's right hand man"), [VAKSBERG, p. 23] Lazar Kaganovich and Isaac Mintz all survived Stalin's declared "anti-Zionist" purges.
"Why did Stalin, as an anti-Semite," wonders Vaksberg, "have two Jewish secretaries -- Lev Mekhlis and Grigori Kanner?" [VAKSBERG, p. 27]  Why too, we might add in turning Vaksberg's facts to different theses, whenever Stalin went on a vacation, did Lazar Kaganovich, a Jew, take over running the government? [VAKSBERG, p. 51] And why, we might add, if Stalin was so all-encompassingly hateful of Jews, did he entrust his life to a Jewish bodyguard, Matyas Rakoszy? [VAKSBERG, p. 40] (Another Jewish Stalin bodyguard, son of a rabbi, and "protege of Nikita Khruschev," was Alexander Contract, who started out in the NKVD -- later the KGB. Contract even saved the life of future Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin). [O'DWYER, T., 7-6-98] And if Stalin was singularly focused in his alleged hatred of Jews, why did his "personal corps of physicians" include "Drs. Weisbrod, Moshenberg, and Lev Gigorievich Levin?" [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 37] Even prominent non-Jewish Communist Party officials (and close associates of Stalin's social circle), President Mikhail Kalinin, Bukharin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Andreyev, Poskrebyshev, and Rykov, all had Jewish wives. Stalin's own daughter Svetlana Allilueva had an affair with Jewish screenwriter Alexei Kapler; she later married Grigory Morozov (Moroz), also Jewish. [VAKSBERG, p. 138; RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 208] The fact that Stalin reportedly did not approve of these men is routinely explained by Jewish scholars as anti-Semitism. Stalin's sister-in-law (eventually imprisoned) by his first wife was also Jewish. So was one of his daughters-in-law. And there is controversial testimony that Stalin even had a Jewish mistress, Rosa Kaganovich. [RAPAPORT, L., p. 46, 241] [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 94]
Over a hundred Jewish generals also served in Stalin's Soviet army, including the chief of the Soviet Air Force at the start of World War II, General Jacob Smushkevich. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 78]
"It seemed," says Louis Rapoport,
     "there were Jews wherever [Stalin] looked. His loyal tin soldier, Marshal
     Voroshilov, was devoted to his Jewish wife, Catherine. Marshal Bulganin
     was also happily married to a Jew, Nadezhda. Politburo member Andrei
     Andreyev, who fell from grace in 1950, was married to Dora Khazan, and
     Kaganovich the Jew was married to Maria, also one of the tribe.
     Malenkov, who was suspected of being a bit of a philo-Semite, had a
     Jewish son-in-law, as, it was said, did Khrushchev. The up-and-coming
     Leonid Brezhnev was said to have a Jewish wife." [RAPOPORT, L.,
     1990, p. 208]
Stalin's alleged fanatical anti-Semitism had further curious twists. "Another non-Jew not only helped create Israel," notes M. Hersch Goldberg, "but saved it. Incredible as it may seem, that man was Joseph Stalin. The tale of Stalin's role in helping create and then insure the early survival of Israel has been little told; and on those occasions when it has been mentioned, there has been no satisfactory explanation for it." This includes the fact that in 1947 the Soviet Union publicly supported the creation of a Jewish state, and was the second country (after the U.S.) to recognize its establishment. Stalin also initially supported Israel in its war of independence against the Arabs and supported Israel with shipments of arms through Czecheslovakia.  Even the Soviet delegate to the United Nations, also President of the Security Council, was of Jewish heritage -- Jacob Malik. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 220-224] It would seem that if Stalin was truly overwhelmed with feelings of irrational anti-Semitism, Jewish power within his own government had overwhelmed him.
From the start of his argument about Stalin's single-minded hatred of Jews, Arkady Vaksberg marks the early struggle for power between Stalin and Trotsky-Zinoviev-Kamenev-Sikolnikov: "All four men whom Stalin perceived as his rivals in the struggle for power were Jewish. Each of them, especially Trotsky, naturally had a large number of allies in higher eschelons of power who could influence the distribution of posts and positions and the political clout and popularity of candidates. There was a certain ethnic 'imbalance' here too." [VAKSBERG, p. 19]
As normal in Jewish scholarship (framing Jews as victims even as they act as oppressors), Vaksberg even makes the preposterous claim that the reason Jewish commanders ran 11 of the 12 major Gulag Archipelago concentration camps (including the director of them all, Matvei Berman, who also headed the slave labor project that built the Belomar-Baltic Canal) was that Stalin wanted to make Jews look bad, and foment anti-Semitism. "It could not," he insists, "have been sheer coincidence." [VAKSBERG, p. 98] Maybe not. But other possible reasons are too profoundly troubling for Vaksberg to consider.
Jews were also everywhere prominent in Soviet secret police organizations. "From the beginning," writes Benjamin Ginsberg, "the Soviet state relied upon military, police, and security services to sustain itself, and Jews were active in these agencies. ... Jews ... staff[ed] and direct[ed] the coercive instruments upon which the state relied to control its citizens." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 30] Genrikh Yagoda, for instance, was the Soviet Chief of the Secret Police in the 1930s. A pharmacist, he specialized "in preparing poisons for his agents to use in liquidating Stalin's opponents." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31] "Yagoda was the man Stalin trusted most within the repressive aparat without which no totalitarian regime can exist," says Arkady Vaksberg, "The Soviet version of dictatorship and Stalin personally would not have survived without the 'faithful watchdogs of the revolution' and their 'punishing swords.'" [VAKSBERG, p. 36] Yagoda's brother-in-law, Leopold Averebakh was the "chief supervisor of Party purity in Soviet literature." [VAKSBERG, p. 35]

(America has even had its own Jewish secret police kind of poisoner. Journalist Alexander Cockburn noted Sidney Gottleib as the "US Official Poisoner ... For more than two decades [he] managed the CIA's Technical Services Division ... With Gottleib's death, America has lost its prime poisoner. For many years, most notably in the 1950s and 1960s, Gottleib presided over the CIA's technical services division and supervised preparation of lethal poisons, experiments in mind control and administration of LSD and other psycho-active drugs to unwitting subjects.") [COCKBURN, A., GOTTLIEB]
"Working side by side with Yagoda," notes Arkady Vaksberg about a kindred Jewish government deputy, "was another professional chekist (a euphemism for professional executioner), Meer Trilissen ... The many actions undertaken by Trilissen's agents included blowing up the cathedral in Sofia with the Bulgarian tsar and his government inside." [VAKSBERG, p. 38] 
Other Jews, Matvei Berman and Naftali Frenkel of the secret police, were instrumental in the creation of the slave labor system in which 200,000 workers died during one project alone, the White Sea-Baltic Canal. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31] "It was Frenkel," notes Louis Rapoport,
     "who refined Berman's use of prisoners as slave labors ... Most of
     the chief overseers of the Canal were Jews. Solzhenitsyn described
     them as 'six hired murderers each of whom accounted for thirty
     thousand lives: Firin - Berman - Frenkel - Kogan - Rappoport - Zhuk
     ... Thousands of Jewish revolutionaries helped to spearhead the
     Terror machine with a messianic fervor. One of them, Matvei Berman,
     had helped to institutionalize slave labor as early as 1922." [RAPAPORT,
     L., 1990, p. 30, 44]
Likewise, Yakov Agranov, Karl Danker "and other representatives of the Jewish proletariat ... distinguished themselves with a talent for execution." [VAKSBERG, p. 39] Other prominent Jewish officials in the Soviet government included K.V. Pauler, Chief Operations Officer of the secret police in the 1930's, Lev Inzhir (Chief Accountant for the Gulag: Inzhir "the all-powerful clerk, was kept busy with figures on transit points, rail depots and harbors, human and other freight transfers, length of terms, morality rates."), "top" Chekist Aron Soltz, [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 44, 45] M. I. Gay who headed a secret police organization that conducted mass arrests and executions during "The Great Terror" of the 1930s, and A.A. Slutsky and Boris Berman who were in charge of terrorist and espionage activities abroad in the 1930s.
Noting that "many of the prosecution witnesses and agent provocateurs against" Jewish enemies of the communist state were also Jewish, Louis Rapoport adds that
     "Some of the main instruments of the Terror [against everyone] were
     also of Jewish origin: M. I. Gay, who headed a special secret police
     department; A. A. Slutsky and his deputies Boris Berman and
     Shpiegelglas, who were in charge of terror and espionage abroad;
     and NKVD operations chief Pauker. None of these mass executioners
     survived [later purges against them]  [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 49-50]
The man who headed the firing squad that executed the Russian royal family, Yakov Yurovsky, was also Jewish, as was the Bolshevik official who reported the deaths to Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov. [KRICHEVSKY, Behind, 1997, p. 8]  Or, as Arkady Vaksberg puts it: "There is no getting around the fact that the first violins in the orchestra of death of the tsar and his family were four Jews -- Yakov Yurovsky, Shaia Goloshchekin, Lev Sosnovsky, and Pinkus Vainer (Pert Voikov). The concert master and conducter was Yakov Sverdlov." [VAKSBERG, p. 37]
As Zvi Gitelman notes about the Cheka, the early Soviet terrorist police organization:
     "The high visibility of Jews in the Bolshevik regime was dramatized
     by the large numbers of Jews in the Cheka ... From the Jewish point
     of view it was no doubt the lure of immediate physical power which
     attracted many Jewish youths ... Whatever the reasons, Jews were
     heavily represented in the secret police ... Since the Cheka was the
     most hated and feared organ of the Bolshevik government, anti-
     Jewish feelings increased in direct proportion to Cheka terror."
Leon Schapiro remarks that "it is difficult to suggest a satisfactory reason for the prevalence of Jews in the Cheka ... Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of Cheka stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and very possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator." [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 165]
"I doubt that there was another poet (or novelist or playwright or artist)," says Arkady Vaksberg, "who was surrounded by as many Chekists as [Vladimir] Mayakovsky. [Mayakowsky was the leading poet of the Russian revolution era.] And sadly, they were almost all Jewish." These included at least three Jewish generals in the secret terrorist organization: Yakov Agranov, Moisey Gorb, and Lev Elbert. [VAKSBERG, p. 45]
Another Jewish author, Richard Pipes, adds that
        "The worst bestialities were committed by some of the provincial
     Chekas -- which operated at a distance from the eyes of the
     central organs and had no fear of being reported on by foreign
     diplomats or journalists. There exists a detailed description of
     the operations of the Kiev Cheka in 1919 by one of its staff,
     I. Belerosov, a former law student and tsarist officer, which he
     gave to general Denikin's investigators.
        According to Belerosov, at first (fall and winter of 1918-1919)
     the Kiev Cheka went on a 'continuous spree' of looting, extortion,
     and rape. Three-quarters of the staff were Jews, many of them
     riffraff incapable of any other work, cut off from the Jewish
     community although careful to spare fellow Jews." [PIPES, R.,
     1990, p. 823-824]
In later years, another Jew, Zakhar Ilyich Volovich, "was involved in many of the dirty circles of the NKVD [precursor to the KGB], crimes even today enveloped in dark secrecy." [VAKSBERG, p. 45-46] Among the many Jewish executives in the Main Directorate of State Security of the NKVD were Mosiey Boguslavsky, Yakov Veinshtok, Zakhlar Volovich, Mark Gai, Matvei Gerzon, Moisey Gorb, Ilya Grach, Yakov Deich, Grigory Rapoport, Abram Ratner, Abram Slutsky, David Sokolinsky, Solomon Stoibelman, Meer Trilesser, Semyon Firin, Vladimir Tsesarsky, Leonid Chertok, Isak Shapiro, Grigory Yakubovsky, "and many other NKVD workers of the same level and same origins." [VAKSBERG, p. 98]  The non-Jewish head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria, had "many Jews in his close entourage ... [who were in] major positions in the NKVD." These included Generals Arkady Gertsovsky, Veniamin Gulst, Ilya Ilyushin-Edleman, Matvei Potashnik, Solomon Milshtein, Lev Novobratsky, Leonid Raikhman, and Naum Eitigen. Heads of NKVD "investigative groups" included Colonels Boris Rodos, Lev Shvartsman, Isaia Babich, Iosif Babich, Iosif Lorkish, and Mark Spekter. [VAKSBERG, p. 102]
Among these, Colonel Lev Shvartsman stands out for Arkady Vaksberg as "one of the most vicious KGB executioners ... He personally tortured Mikhail Koltsov, diplomats, major scientists, and cultural figures." [VAKSBERG, p. 223] Likewise, another Jew, Colonel Boris Rodos was a "sadist [who] ... at the Academy of Internal Affairs taught ... the methods of working over prisoners in their cells." [VAKSBERG, p. 211]  "As a Jew," notes Yevgenia Albats in his book about the history of the KGB, "I'm interested in another question entirely: Why were there so many Jews among the NKVD-MGB investigators -- including many of the most terrible? It's a painful question for me, but I cannot evade it." [ALBATS, Y., 1994, p. 147]
"Such Bolshevik Jewish luminaries as Lev Kamenov, Grigori Zinoviev, and Yakov Sverdlov," says Ukrainian-American author Myron Kuropas, "helped Lenin come to power; and it was Jews like Maxim Litvinov, Lazar Kaganovich, and hundreds of lesser lights who were in the forefront of Stalin's rise to power. It was they who later helped Stalin engineer Ukraine's genocidal famine and the brutal Soviet takeover of Western Ukraine. When the USSR began to decline, writes [a former KGB officer married to a Jewish officer in the same force], 'the flower of this educated leadership and their children emigrated to Israel and the West.' I can't help but wonder how many of these criminals now reside in the United States." [KUROPAS, M., 8-14-94, p. 77]
Some estimates suggest that between a fourth and a fifth of the rural Ukrainian population perished by enforced starvation. [MOYNAHAN, p. 120] One of the dedicated Jewish communists was Lev Kopolev. "We were realizing historical necessity," he wrote,
     "We were performing our revolutionary duty. We were obtaining grain
     for the socialist fatherland ... I saw women and children with distended
     bellies, turning blue, with vacant, lifeless eyes. And corpses -- corpses
     in ragged sheepskin coats and cheap felt boots; corpses in peasant huts,
     in the melting snow of old Vologda, under the bridges of Kharkov ... I
     saw all this and did not got out of my mind or commit suicide ... I
     believed [in the new Soviet order] because I wanted to believe."
     [MOYNAHAN, p. 119]
In 1987, Stuart Kahan, an American relative of Russian communist strongman Lazar Kaganovich (originally named Moiseyevich; he is described by Kahan as the Soviet "Apparatus of Terror"), wrote a book about him. The author interviewed the elderly Kaganovich in Yiddish via his father, and concluded that his relative
      "was, to put it mildly, a devil. That relative exuded evil, an evil
      that put millions of people to death ... [KAHAN, S., p. 5] ... Although
      the Church was left intact, its lands were seized [by the communist
      movement]. Even prior religious teaching was forbidden in the schools.
      Of course, word came down that it was the Jews who did this. After all,
      wasn't the revolution prepared and fashioned by Jews? Both of Karl
      Marx's grandfathers were rabbis, and Lenin's grandfather was also
      Jewish. And wasn't Yarkov Sverdlov, the first chief of state, a Jew,
      as was Trotsky himself? ... That Trotsky, unquestionably the most
      outstanding man among the Bolsheviks, was a Jew did not seem an
      insuperable obstacle in a party in which the percentage of Jews, 52
      percent, was rather high compared to the percentage of Jews (1.8
      percent) in the total population." [KAHAN, p. 80-81]
Kaganovich "eventually held more key posts in the power structure than anyone except Stalin ... He demolished the huge Church of Christ the Savior and replaced it with the Palace of the Soviets. As commissar of heavy industry during the war years, he chose his brother Mikhail as his deputy and controlled everything from the vast fuel and steel industries to chemicals and building materials." [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, -. 43]
Jewish author Arkaday Vaksberg even calls yet another Jewish Soviet leader, Rozalia Zemlyachka (Zalkind), "a sadist and monster who would play a major role in the slaughter in the Crimea after the destruction of the last strongholds of the White Movement [anti-communists] there." [VAKSBERG, p. 23]  Another Jew, Bela Hun, "spread bloody terror" with Semlyachka. [VAKSBERG, p. 41] Another government (and Jewish) terrorist, "the lawyer Moisey Uritsky ... was the scourge of Petrograd in 1918, terrorizing the citizenry as the local Cheka. He was killed by another Jew, Leonid Kanegisser." [VAKSBERG, p. 23]  Another Jewish Soviet leader, Filipp Goloschchekin,  "was one of the main organizers of the murder of the tsar's family in 1918  ... [He also] displayed boundless cruelty in the genocide of the Kazakhs when he became Party leader of Kazakhstan." [VAKSBERG, p. 17] 
As even Winston Churchill once wrote about Jewish influence in the communist world:
     "This [communist] movement among Jews is not new. From the days
     of Spartacus-Weishaupt [Adam Weishaupt, the Bavarian founder in
     1776 of one of the most famous conspiratorial groups, the Illuminati, in
     history], to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela
     Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemberg (Germany), and Emma Goldman
     (United States), this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of
     civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of
     arrested development and envious malevolence, an impossible equality
     has been steadily growing. It has been the mainspring of every subversive
     movement during the nineteenth century." [PIPES, D., 1997, p. 139]
Jews were also "particularly visible in the Soviet cultural and propaganda apparatus" and they "dominated the Soviet film industry." [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31]  Half of the June 1930 membership of the Communist Academy -- a philosophy organization -- were also Jewish. "It is obvious that from the very first moves to revive academic and scholarly work in the philosophical field [in Russia]," notes Yehoshua Yakhot, "the part played by Jews was considerable and, in a certain sense, predominant." [YAHOT, p. 244] By 1984, as one percent of the Soviet populace, one author even found that even 33 per cent of Soviet musicologists were Jews. [BRAUN, J. , p. 85]
More than once in Soviet history, Jews have fallen under government suspicion for a collective foreign intrigue -- many charged as agents of "American imperialism" or Israel. Sometimes portrayed in the Soviet press during Stalin era as men of "uncertain allegiance," notes Isaac Deutscher, the newspapers
     "revealed systematically the Jewish names of writers who had been
     know to the public under Russian pseudonyms ... The Jews were to
     some extent protected by their prominence in vital spheres of the
     national life, in the management of industry, in nuclear research, in
     the [communist] party machine, in the academic world, and in the
     armed forces. (Nearly twenty thousand Jews held teaching posts in
     the Universities)." [DEUTSCHER, p. 608]
Among those many purged by Stalin in 1953 was the Jewish head (Palgunov) of Tass, the government news agency. [HYDE, H.M., 1971, p. 590] In 1937, in a purge of the Commander of the Red Army, seven of his top generals went with him. Four of these generals were Jewish --Yan Garmarik, Yon Yakir, R. Eideman, and B. Feldman. [HYDE, H.M., 1971, p. 351-352]
Opponents of indigenous European nationalist movements, Jews also rose to power in enforcing communist rule over post-World War II Soviet satellite countries, including Czecheslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. In Hungary, for example, Mathiou Rakosi was the Communist Party leader and Peter Gabor headed the secret police. Eduard Oklag, Yokub Berman and Gilyari Minz were prominent in the Polish government, Anna Pauker in Romania. "It was she," notes Howard Sachar, "not the [Communist] party's chairman, Gheorghe Gheorghin-Dej, who made the key policy decisions in her triple capacity as deputy premier, foreign minister, and deputy secretary of the central committee … Simeon Bughichi, Mrs. Pauker's successor as foreign minister, was also Jewish ... There were several Jews [after World War II] ... who played leading roles in the [Yugoslavian communist] government. The most eminent of these was Moshe Pijade [president of the Yugoslav National Assembly]." [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 363, 365, 315]
A number of these Jewish leaders throughout the communist system met their end in government power purges. In Czecheslovakia, for example, Rudolph Slansky and ten other Jewish elites of the party were tried; eight were executed. "The Slansky trial," note Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, "was in part a move to purge the Czech communist party of its Jewish leadership." [RADOSH/MILTON, p. 349]  Jewish scholar Barnet Litvinoff adds that
     "When Stalin's tyranny was at its height, and his grasp upon his
     satellites complete, powerful Jewish personalities were conspicuous
     in the Communist hierarchies of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
     and Romania ... Hilary Minc and Jacob Berman who returned to
     Warsaw ... stood very close to the master in the Kremlin ... Erno
     Gero, Matyas Rakosi, and Mihaly Farkas occupied similar
     positions in Hungary, while Anna Pauker was the unquestioned
     mistress of Romania, with authority comparable to Rudolf
     Slansky's in Czechoslovakia. The list was an extensive one, and
     included government and Party officials alike, ambassadors
     abroad, and some military figures trained by the Soviet secret
     police, not to mention university professors, film producers and
     broadcasting personalities." [LITVINOFF, B., p. 104-105]

[Also, note this link that examines the phenomenon of Jewish communist spies for the Soviet Union in America]

Philip Mendes notes Jewish prominence in a wide variety of communist and left wing movements throughout the world:

     "As early as the French Revolution of 1830, Jews played an active role in radical
     movements [including Michel Goudchaux, Philippe Anspach, Michel Alcan,
     Olinde Rodrigues, Adolphe Cremieux, and Josue Leon] ... In the 1860s and '70s
     Jewish activists occupied some of the highest positions in the fledgling Russian
     revolutionary movement. The 'pioneer of Russian-Jewish revolutionary action' was
     Nicholas Utin [Others included Mark Natanson, Paul Axelrod, George Plekahnov,
     Vera Zasulitch, Rosalie Bograd, Meir Molodetsky, Gregory Goldenberg, Lew
     Deutch, Vladimir Jochelson, Aaron Sundelievitch, and Hsya Helfmann] ... Jewish
     individuals also played a prominent role in all the Russian radical movements, from
     the Socialist Revolutionaries to the Mensheviks to the Bolsheviks ... In Hungary ...
     for almost four decades in fact, the top leaders of the Communist Party were Jews ...
In France, many Jews have figured prominently in the leadership of the Communist
     Party, including Charles Rappoport, Jean Kanapa, Jean Ellerstein, Haim Cukierman,
     Charles Fierman and Henri Krasucki." [MENDES, P., 1993, p. 9-13]

Other countries of prominent Jewish radicalism cited by Mendes included Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Holland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Chile, and the Middle East.

Ultimately, Benjamin Ginsberg [GINSBERG, B., 1993] alludes to the reoccurring paradigm to all this, that Jews throughout European history have sought benefit from allegiance to ruling powers -- from absolute monarchists to communist dictatorships -- which oppressed, suffocated, and even massacred non-Jewish masses. As a people who historically distanced themselves from the indigenous peoples of every land they lived and as centuries-old nemeses of the Christian order, Jews were ideally suited to function as dispassionate legislators -- and exploiters and oppressors -- over those of whom they had no real bond or interest. "The Gentile population in general," says Ewa Morawska about Eastern Europe, "and the inhabitants of villages surrounding the [Jewish community] in particular, were seen by Jews primarily in instrumental terms as suppliers of ... material livelihood." [MORAWSKA, p. 15] For those many Jews who had a religious basis in their lives, traditional Judaism often served the interests of devaluing others. As consequence, Jewish communities periodically engendered the wrath -- and sometimes violence -- of the common populace.
Jewish scholar George Mosse frames the common bond between the polar politics of the Jewish European capitalist and communist this way:
     "There was an affinity between the Jewish bourgeoisie which supported
     the newest in the arts, placing themselves squarely on the side of the
     modernists, and their wayward socialist children, who wanted to
     overthrow the existing social and economic order. This affinity was
     based on shared ideals that the sons wanted to realize more completely
     than the fathers had." [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 57]

"Empirical data," adds Jewish scholar Norman Cantor, "support the contention of French and German anti-Semites in the 1920s and 1930s that the Jews were both capitalists and communists, and thus doubly anathema to the reactionary racist movements that funneled into Judeo-phobic fascism. The German cartoons of the 1920s who depicted Jews as both bloated capitalists swallowing European civilization and nefarious red terrorists plotting to blow up western civilization were not engaging in absolute fantasy, even though Jewish apologists then and historians now like to make that accusation and try to forget the whole thing." [CANTOR, p. 275]



When Victims Rule. A Critique of Jewish pre-eminence in America
By Jewish Tribal Review

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